Lynn Scarlett

Managing Director for Public Policy at The Nature Conservancy
Former Deputy Secretary of the Interior (2005-2009)
Co-Director of RFF's Center for the Management of Ecological Wealth

Leading authority on green business opportunities and incentive-based environmental policy.

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A leading thinker on environmental issues for over three decades, Lynn Scarlett has held influential positions both inside and outside of government. Lynn was named Managing Director for Public Policy at The Nature Conservancy. She was a senior Visiting Scholar at Resources for the Future in Washington, DC. and the co-director of RFF’s Center for the Management of Ecological Wealth (CMEW). She is an environmental analyst focusing on climate change adaptation, environmental risk management, green business and infrastructure, energy and water issues, landscape-scale conservation, and science and decision making.

In 2009, she was a Distinguished Visiting Lecturer on climate change at the University of California Bren School of Environmental Science and Management.

From 2005-2009 she was Deputy Secretary at the Department of the Interior where she chaired the Department's Climate Change Task Force. Previously, Lynn served 4 years as the Department's Assistant Secretary for Policy, Management and Budget.

She is a former President of the Reason Foundation and Director for 15 years of the Reason Public Policy Institute, where she focused on environmental, land use and natural resources issues.

She is a former president of Executive Women in Government, a member of the national Commission on Climate and Tropical Forests and was chair of the federal Wildland Fire Leadership Council. She also serves on the boards of the American Hiking Society and the Continental Divide Trail Alliance and RESOLVE (nonprofit environmental dispute resolution), and is a trustee emeritus of the Udall Foundation.

Since leaving government, Lynn has written extensively on environmental issues, including "Green, Clean, and Dollar Smart," on urban greening, published in February 2010 by the Environmental Defense Fund; "Landscape-scale Conservation," co-authored with Matt McKinney and Dan Kemmis and published by the Lincoln Institute, Cambridge, Mass.; "Climate change effects: the intersection of science, policy, and resource management in the USA," published in the Journal of the North American Benthological Society; and an issue brief on endangered species published by Resources for the Future.

Renewable Energy
Ms Scarlett has extensive knowledge of issues, trends, and policies that shape opportunities, constraints, and design considerations for wind energy. While Deputy Secretary at the Interior Department, Lynn launched a Federal Advisory Commission to develop guidelines pertaining to wind turbine design to minimize impacts on birds, bats, and other wildlife. After a several year process, those guidelines have now been finalised and are being used within the industry. She engaged in shaping the regulations that were eventually finalised by the current Administration regarding procedures and requirements for offshore wind energy development and initiated a review and redesign of the Bureau of Land Management's planning and siting processes and regulatory framework for wind, solar and other energy production activities.

Lynn is a current participant in a roundtable forum regarding development of principles for the siting of wind, solar, and other renewable energy sources on DOD lands.


Lynn tailors each presentation to the needs of her audience and is not limited to the topics we have listed below. These are subjects that have proven valuable to customers in the past and are meant only to suggest her range and interests. Please ask us about any subject that interests you; we are sure that we can accommodate you.

Ecosystems Services

How natural systems provide valuable services to human communities and how communities can protect and invest in these services.

Green Bucks, Big Bucks

Innovative solutions can satisfy both economic and environmental concerns.

Cities and the Environment

Do cities and the surrounding environment have to maintain an adversarial relationship? How can cities use the environment to conserve energy and reduce pollution?

Green Business And Environmental Entrepreneurship

How to add value in the marketplace by reducing costs, improving the bundle of attributes of a product or service, or providing new products and services.

The Statecraft of Environment, Economy and Energy

The unintended consequences of current and proposed energy policies and how to better meet the Nation’s energy needs.

Science, Policy and Politics

Balancing scientific authority and public values, priorities and trade-offs.

The Changing Politics of the American West

Conservation, prosperity and reconciliation as new economics and demographics transform the traditional resource-based economy of the West.

Climate Change Adaptation and the Economy

What are the effects of a changing climate on land, water, and business assets, and how can businesses respond?