DURHAM, N.C. -- The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) has named Toddi Steelman, Stanback Dean of the Nicholas School of the Environment at Duke University, to its board of directors. She will serve a three-year term.
As one of the world’s most respected conservation organizations, WWF works with local partners in nearly 100 countries to help people and nature thrive by developing innovative, science-based conservation strategies that protect communities, wildlife and the places in which they live.
As one of its new board members, Steelman will collaborate with other members of WWF’s leadership team to provide critical advice and counsel to help the global nonprofit achieve its goals across six broad and interconnected focal areas: climate, food, forests, freshwater, oceans and wildlife.
“How lucky are we? Dean Steelman brings the rigor of one of the world’s finest schools of the environment, with the wisdom of experience and the soul of someone rooted in everyday places,” said Carter Roberts, president and CEO of WWF. “I’ll count on her insights and engagement in sustaining the world's most important landscapes and seascapes and reducing the footprint of our economy and our lives.”
Steelman has served as Stanback Dean of the Nicholas School since 2018 and was recently reappointed to her second five-year term through June 30, 2028.
In addition to providing leadership for the school—which has seen strategic growth in its academic, research, and outreach enterprises during her tenure, despite the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic—she has been a leading architect of the Duke Climate Commitment, which was launched last September and unites the university’s education, research, operations, and public service missions to address the climate crisis.
On the research front, Steelman is internationally recognized for her expertise in environmental and resource policy and highly cited for her studies on community response to wildfire and how communities and agencies can interact for more effective wildfire management on large, interjurisdictionally complex blazes. She is immediate past president of the International Association of Wildland Fire.
“I am honored and excited to serve on the board of an organization I have respected my entire career,” Steelman said. “WWF and the Nicholas School share a focus on finding solutions to the world’s most pressing environmental and social problems, as well as a rich history of working together to develop new tools, practices and policies that advance conservation and sustainable development for the good of people and the planet alike. I can’t wait to help build on that history.”