Steve is currently a Special Advisor at the David and Lucille Packard Foundation. He is also a co-founder of the Earth Genome Project, a start-up venture to create the first global, open-source database on ecosystem services and natural capital, designed to guide decision-makers in the private and public sectors.
Steve served as President of the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, one of the largest Foundations in the U.S., from 2007-2014. He led the Foundation through development of new strategies in its three existing Programs -- Environmental Conservation, Science and San Francisco Bay Area – and created the new Patient Care Program. Steve’s tenure was characterized by his commitment to forming strategic alliances with other funders, helping create coalitions among stakeholder groups, and positioning the Moore Foundation as a “change-maker” not just a grant-maker, which included a partnership with the World Business Council for Sustainable Development. As President he also served as Chair of the six-foundation Science Philanthropy Alliance.
Steve served as President and CEO of The Nature Conservancy (TNC) from 2000-2008. As president, Steve led the organization into becoming a truly global enterprise, operating in 30 countries as well as every state in the U.S. During his tenure, he oversaw an operating budget of over $500 million, and a highly distributed staff of over 3,000. Under Steve’s leadership, revenues from all sources increased significantly, hitting an all-time high of $1.2 billion in 2006.
Prior to his role as president and CEO of TNC, from 2000 - 2001 Steve was a founding partner of the Resources Law Group, a firm based in Sacramento, which provides transactional and consulting services in land-use and natural resources law and policy, and creates innovative opportunities for conservation philanthropy.
Steve began his career with TNC in 1976 as western regional legal counsel and rose through the ranks to spend 16 years as executive director of the California state program and Western Region. In that role, he led an organization-wide effort in 1996 that created Conservation by Design, the strategic framework that still guides TNC’s work around the world.
A leader in the social innovation sector, Steve serves on the boards of The Independent Sector, Sustainable Conservation, Science for Nature and People, and the California Wildlife Officers Foundation. He has also served on the board of the Student Conservation Association; the U.C. Berkeley College of Natural Resources Advisory Board; and the Advisory Board of the Harvard Business School Social Enterprise Initiative. Steve’s work has been profiled in publications such as Forbes, San Francisco Chronicle, and CEO Magazine. He has been a featured speaker at numerous events.
Steve has received widespread recognition and awards, including the Chevron Conservation Award, the Edmund G. Brown Award for Environmental and Economic Balance, the John Pritzlaff Conservation Award and the California League of Conservation Voters’ Conservation Leadership Award.
Steve holds a B.S. in Agricultural Economics from the University of California at Berkeley (1973), where he graduated with honors, and a J.D. from the University of California, Hastings College of Law (1976).