J. Michael McCloskey "is an architect of the modern environmental movement, having spent his career (1961-1999) working in environmental advocacy. For 30 years, he was an executive of the Sierra Club, rising to be its executive director (from 1969-1985) and chairman (1985-1999). Before that, he was its conservation director and a field organizer in the northwestern U.S. Although recently retired, he remains very active in national environmental issues.
"McCloskey’s career is woven through the history of the environmental movement in the U.S. He helped pave the way for the groundbreaking Wilderness Act of 1964. At the Sierra Club his advocacy helped establish countless national parks and wilderness areas. And his efforts pushed congress to enact more than 100 environmental laws. His work has been recognized by various awards including the John Muir Award of the Sierra Club; the Fred Packard award of the World Conservation Union (IUCN); the Lifetime Achievement Award of the WILD Foundation; the Award of Honor of the NRCA; and the Conservation Award of the Federation of Western Outdoor Clubs (FWOC). He is an honorary vice president of the Sierra Club and a trustee of the Sierra Club Foundation.
"McCloskey holds degrees in law from the University of Oregon and American government from Harvard College. He has taught as an adjunct faculty member at the School of Natural Resources and the Environment of the University of Michigan. He has also served as chairman of the Natural Resources Council of America (NRCA), of the Mineral Policy Center, and as president of the FWOC. He is a member of the World Commission on Protected Areas and of the Commission on Environmental Law of the IUCN. He served as co-chairman of the Environmental Management Task Force of President Clinton’s Council on Sustainable Development.