Webster University and the Office of Corporate Partnerships welcome Yolanda Kakabadse, President World Wildlife Fund (WWF) International, one of the world’s most prominent environmental leaders, as the inaugural 2012 Global Leader in Residence on April 9-12, 2012 in the George Herbert Walker School of Business & Technology, presented by Novus International. Events are free and open to Webster’s students, faculty and staff, community leaders and the general public.  Registration is required.

Ms. Kakabadse is widely recognized as a global champion of sustainable development and biodiversity preservation.  During Ms. Kakabadse’s residence, there will be multiple opportunities to interact with this most distinguished guest including the President’s Opening Reception on Monday April 9th, Ms Kakabadse’s public address “Destination You: The Future of our Planet” on Tuesday April 1oth and an executive sustainability breakfast and program on Wednesday April 11th.

Born in Ecuador, Ms. Kakabadse studied Educational Psychology in the Catholic University of Quito. She became Executive Director of Fundacion Natura in Quito and later created one of Latin America’s most important environmental organizations, bringing environmental, political, cultural, industrial and economic sectors together to prevent and manage social-environmental conflicts in Latin America. She is now chair of its Advisory Board.

“My heart is simply in nature conservation,” states Yolanda Kakabadse. “Our goal is to bring a voice to sustainability that forges a singular path of environmental, social, and economic sustainability through conservation.”

Her career has taken her around the world, from serving as the Minister of Environment for the Republic of Ecuador to Visiting Professor at Yale’s School of Forestry and Environment.  She has been President of the World Conservation Union, Member of the Board of the World Resource Institute, Co-Chair Environmental Sustainability Task Force of the UN Millennium Project, Chair Scientific and Technology Advisory Panel of the Global Environment Facility, and Team Leader for the Poverty and Environment Nexus evaluation of UNDP.

Ms. Kakabadse became President of WWF International in January 2010.  Her unwavering commitment to nature conservation has been recognized by many international distinctions, including the Global 500 Award of the United Nations Environment Programme, the “Golden Ark Order”, the prestigious Zayed Prize, and a Doctor in Science (ScD) Honoris Causa from the University of East Anglia (2008).

“We are honored and delighted to host Ms. Kakabadse, who has demonstrated extraordinary leadership in the field of sustainability,” states Dr. Benjamin Ola Akande, Dean of the George Herbert Walker School of Business & Technology.  “We believe her presence will educate and inspire students and the entire community to seek solutions to these global issues.”

“Novus is very honored to partner with Webster University to host Ms. Kakabadse,” states Thad Simons, President and CEO, Novus International, Inc.  “The WWF’s work in environmental conservation aligns with Novus’ Vision to ‘help feed the world affordable, wholesome food and achieve a higher quality of life.'”

“Ms. Kakabadse represents an authentic passion for connecting with the next generation of leaders today that will be (and are) facing vexing sustainability challenges of tomorrow,” said Brad Wolaver, Sustainability Coordinator, Office of the CFO. “Her  residency, anchored in inspiring innovation and solutions, is going to empower our students and community to define real opportunities for solving these challenges that are shaped and influenced by Ms. Kakabadse and the World Wildlife Fund International’s work in One Planet Living.”

The newly announced Global Leaders in Residence program presents distinguished individuals who are considered thought leaders in their fields from across a wide spectrum of disciplines.  While in residence, each Global Leader will interact with students to assist in real-world learning by connecting theory to practice.  Leaders will  share their unique perspectives based upon their experiences, in forums that are free and open to all students, faculty and the general public.

Webster University’s mission of ensuring high quality learning experiences that transform students for global citizenship and individual excellence is an ideal environment for these distinguished leaders to connect students to deep, real-world knowledge of significance.

For more information about programs during Ms. Kakabadse’s residency and the 2012 Global Leaders in Residence program, visit http://www.webster.edu/partners/index.shtml.

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