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Anthony D. Cortese - Second Nature. Boston, MA, US

Anthony D. Cortese

President | Second Nature


Dynamic, thought-provoking speaker that addresses the need for a healthy, just sustainable world and the role of higher education







Anthony D. Cortese, ScD is co-founder with U.S. Senator John Kerry (D-MA) and Teresa Heinz and President of Second Nature, a nonprofit organization with a mission to develop the national capacity to make healthy, just, and sustainable action a foundation of all learning and practice in higher education. He is also organizer of the American College & University Presidents Climate Commitment and co-founder of the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education. He is a consultant to higher education, industry and non-profit organizations on institutionalization of sustainability principles and programs.
Among his efforts, he is actively involved with the presidents and chancellors of colleges and universities and several higher education associations that represent presidents, trustees, business officers and academic officers to promote sustainable design, education, planning, operation, purchasing and community collaboration in higher education.

Dr. Cortese was formerly the Commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection. He was the first Dean of Environmental Programs at Tufts University and founded the award-winning Tufts Environmental Literacy Institute in 1989 that helped integrate environmental and sustainability perspectives in over 150 courses. He also organized the effort for Tufts President, Jean Mayer, that resulted in the internationally acclaimed Talloires Declaration of University Leaders for a Sustainable Future in 1990 now signed by over 380 presidents and chancellors in over 50 countries.

Dr. Cortese was a founding member of the board of directors of The Natural Step US and of the Environmental Business Council of New England. He is a trustee of Tufts University and Green Mountain College, Woodrow Wilson Fellow for higher education and a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He has been a consultant to United Nations Environment Program, the National Research Council, member of the EPA Science Advisory Board and the President's Council on Sustainable Development's Education Task Force. He has been actively engaged in environmental protection, public health, climate change and other large system sustainability challenges for 40 years.

Industry Expertise (4)


Environmental Services



Areas of Expertise (3)



Higher Education

Accomplishments (1)

Bioneers Presentation (professional)

Education (4)

Harvard University School of Public Health : Doctor of Science, Environmental Health Sciences

University of Maine Presque Isle: Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters

Tufts University: Enviornmental Engineering, BS and MS

Allegheny College: Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters

Sample Talks (1)

"The Critical Role of Higher Education in Creating a Healthy, Just, Secure, and Sustainable Society



  • Keynote
  • Moderator
  • Panelist
  • Author Appearance


3500 to 7000 *Will consider certain engagements for no fee