SFI names new chief conservation officer
October 11, 2022 By Sustainable Forestry Initiative
The Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) has announced Lauren T. Cooper as its new chief conservation officer.
Cooper is well respected among the forest sector, academic communities, and the SFI network. She has exceptional knowledge and experience in climate smart forestry and applied science and is well-respected internationally for her work in assessing forest-based climate finance and for linking wood utilization to sustainability. Cooper was one of two research scientists at Michigan State University (MSU) who led a study entitled “Linking Climate Change, Forests, and Certification” that included a qualitative analysis of SFI programmatic documents, interviews with key informants, and observations of SFI training activities. The resulting report informed the development of the climate smart forestry objective in SFI’s 2022 forest management standard.
Cooper currently serves as program director at MSU where she leads the forest carbon and climate program for the university’s forestry department. Cooper has had extensive experience in conservation and climate science, policy and conservation education and has authored numerous publications. She has served as a convener, moderator, and facilitator in high-level climate events, engaged in numerous climate working groups and has developed climate curriculum, educational materials, and plans. Cooper also currently serves as a steering committee member with the Women’s Forest Congress.
“I look forward to working with the SFI team to enhance collaborations and build new relationships at the intersection of sustainability, forests, society, and climate,” said Cooper.
“SFI is thrilled to have Lauren join our team,” said Kathy Abusow, president and CEO of SFI. ”Her experience in research analysis, policy development and implementation, stakeholder engagement, impact assessment, knowledge transfer, education and training, sustainable land management, climate smart forestry, and track record of successfully working with Indigenous communities will further accelerate the scale and impact of our work.”
Cooper will begin full-time with SFI in April of 2023.
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