Howard Ris

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Howard Ris has been the President and Chief Executive Officer, of the New England Aquarium since 2005 and in 2003 at least he was "president of the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS)... He has been with UCS since 1981, serving as executive director from 1984 to 2001 and as director of UCS’s Nuclear Arms Control Program from 1981 to 1984. Mr. Ris is a member of the Environmental Business Council of New England and was a founding member of the Professionals' Coalition for Nuclear Arms Control and the International Network of Engineers and Scientists for Global Responsibility." (from 2003) [1]

"The Aquarium has major multi-year partnerships with a wide variety of institutions and businesses, including the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, the National Geographic Society, Ahold USA, Irving Oil, and New Balance.

"From August 2004 to September 2005, Mr. Ris was a Senior Fellow in the Centre for Global Insight at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Geneva, Switzerland. The WEF is one of the world’s foremost business organizations, with more than 1,000 member companies. During his year at the WEF, Mr. Ris served as the primary liaison between the WEF and the UK Prime Minister’s office on climate change policy. He led the creation of a climate change business advisory group for Prime Minister Blair that included chief executives from 25 global companies from 12 nations. Mr. Ris also advised the WEF on the design and implementation of a new program on global risks pertinent to the areas of science, technology, and the environment.

"From 1984 through 2003, Mr. Ris served as the chief executive officer of the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS), first as Executive Director, and then as President. UCS is nonprofit partnership of scientists and citizens whose mission is to achieve practical solutions to environmental and national security problems...

"From 1997 to 2003, Mr. Ris chaired a coalition of sixteen national organizations founded to support international and domestic action on climate change. He led the delegation of US NGO’s to the international negotiations that culminated in the Kyoto Protocol. He served on the Energy and Transportation Task Force of President Clinton’s Council on Sustainable Development and was a member of the Energy Future Coalition’s advisory council from 2002-2003. He is currently co-chair of The Keystone Center and a director of the Heinz Center for Science, Economics, and the Environment, both of which are focused on fostering collaboration between corporations, NGOs, and government. He served on the board of Environment 2004, was an advisor to the Henry Luce Foundation and, until December 2003, was a member of the advisory board of the Institute of Transportation Studies at the University of California, Davis. Until the company was sold in 2000, Mr. Ris also served on the board of Ris Paper Company, Inc., one of the largest independent distributors of fine printing papers in the U.S.

"In November of 2004, Mr. Ris was honored as a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science for his contributions in bringing good science to bear on the resolution of societal problems.

"Prior to joining UCS in 1981, Mr. Ris directed the Hydroelectric Power Program at the New England River Basins Commission. From 1976-1978, he was a senior policy analyst in the Massachusetts Executive Office of Environmental Affairs, where he had major responsibility for preparing the state’s first Coastal Zone Management Plan. Before then, he was a Senior Associate with Roy Mann Associates, a consulting firm specializing in environmental impact assessments for public and private sector clients involved in marine-related projects." [2]

Resources and articles

Related Sourcewatch articles


  1. HEINZ CENTER NAMES MELILLO, RIS TRUSTEES , Heinz Center, accessed September 2, 2009.
  2. Staff, Massachusetts Ocean Partnership, accessed September 2, 2009.