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Lynn Scarlett to Co-Direct RFF Center for the Management of Ecological Wealth

CONTACT: Pete Nelson, 202-328-5191,

WASHINGTON—RFF Visiting Scholar P. Lynn Scarlett has been appointed co-director of RFF’s Center for the Management of Ecological Wealth (CMEW). CMEW conducts economic and ecological analysis that addresses the challenges posed by declining and threatened ecological wealth. 

After serving as the deputy secretary and chief operating officer of the U.S. Department of the Interior from 2005 to 2009, Scarlett joined RFF in March 2010 to focus on climate change and its effects on land, water, and wildlife; conservation policies; and ecosystem adaptation strategies. In her new role as co-director, Scarlett will help steer CMEW’s strategic planning and research to ensure that the Center addresses issues that are critical to federal policymakers.

“Lynn Scarlett understands both how policy is made and the role that credible, high-quality research can play in making it work,” said RFF President Phil Sharp. “We’re very fortunate to have her leadership as we build CMEW to extend our presence and contributions in the critically important areas of ecosystem and land use policy.”

Scarlett will work closely with RFF Senior Fellow Jim Boyd, who founded CMEW and has directed the Center since its launch in 2010.

“Lynn’s reputation as an environmental innovator is well deserved,” said Boyd, who will continue to co-direct the Center. “Lynn possesses a rare combination of strengths.  She is not only a nimble intellectual and scholar but also a gifted manager, with deep experience in the way our government makes decisions and manages natural resources. We can't wait to apply her skills and energy to the Center's important work.”

Scarlett served as deputy secretary and chief operating officer of the Interior Department from 2005 to 2009, a post she took on after four years as the department's assistant secretary for policy, management, and budget. She was named acting Secretary of the Interior for two months in 2006, and chaired the department’s Climate Change Task Force. After leaving government, she was named the Zurich Financial Services Distinguished Visiting Lecturer on Climate Change at the Bren School of Environmental Science and Management at the University of California, Santa Barbara. She also serves on the Board of the National Wildlife Refuge Association and the American Hiking Society.

RFF’s Center for the Management of Ecological Wealth (CMEW) focuses on “managerial ecology”—coordinated biophysical and social analysis to illuminate the value of natural systems for decisionmakers. It emphasizes the translation of ecological knowledge into policy- and management-relevant practices and outcomes, and works to turn these ideas into practical policy tools. Visit for more information.

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Founded in 1952, Resources for the Future is an independent and nonpartisan institution devoted to research and publishing about critical issues in environmental and natural resource policy.

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