Johanna Wald

I grew up in the East, and was never any further West than Ithaca, NY, until my second year in law school. That summer I made my first trip West and fell in love with its wilderness areas, stunning landscapes and wonderful wildlife. Two years later, we moved to northern California where I’ve lived ever since. I have been incredibly lucky to spend my entire professional career at NRDC, beginning in 1972 as a part-timer, when my kids were little, and then graduating to a full timer as they got older. All of my work has focused on protecting the West’s special places — especially its federal public lands. I am now working to help the West respond effectively to the climate crisis and specifically to ensure that the region’s renewable energy resources get developed in a way that protects our wildlands and wildlife. When I’m asked how it is that I’ve been able to do this work for so long, I always say it’s because of the places I’ve fallen in love with along the way and the incredible people I’ve gotten to meet and work with over the years.

More from Johanna Wald: