Worldwatch President Takes a Step Back

Robert Engelman moves to senior fellow at the institute to focus on a unique area of research.

Robert Engelman is former president and current senior fellow at the Worldwatch Institute, April 2014
National Journal
Mike Magner
April 17, 2014, 2:47 p.m.

Robert En­gel­man has joined an elite club with only three mem­bers: former pres­id­ents of the World­watch In­sti­tute who have gone on to pur­sue their pas­sions in en­vir­on­ment­al work.

En­gel­man, 52, re­cently stepped down to be­come a seni­or fel­low at the 40-year-old think tank, fo­cus­ing on a unique area of re­search: “the con­flu­ence of wo­men’s em­power­ment, pop­u­la­tion plan­ning, and en­vir­on­ment­al sus­tain­ab­il­ity.”

In mak­ing the shift, En­gel­man fol­lows in the foot­steps of World­watch’s founder and first pres­id­ent, Lester Brown, who left to form a smal­ler re­search group, the Earth Policy In­sti­tute, in 2001. And En­gel­man’s pre­de­cessor, Chris­toph­er Flav­in, moved from pres­id­ent to seni­or fel­low in 2011 to spend more time on ef­forts to de­vel­op a clean-en­ergy eco­nomy. (Flav­in also con­tin­ues to hold the title of pres­id­ent emer­it­us at World­watch.)

“With sev­er­al new pro­jects be­gin­ning or in the wings this year at World­watch, in­clud­ing an es­pe­cially ex­cit­ing one that sup­ports my own re­search, this is the right mo­ment to make this trans­ition,” En­gel­man said when he an­nounced the move in late Feb­ru­ary. He of­fi­cially handed over the reins of the in­sti­tute last month to Ed Groark, a long­time board mem­ber who will serve as act­ing pres­id­ent un­til a per­man­ent re­place­ment is se­lec­ted.

The World­watch In­sti­tute has scaled down a bit since it had a staff of around 40 un­der Brown, a world-renowned en­vir­on­ment­al­ist who turned 80 last month. “It’s smal­ler now but scrappy and edgy,” En­gel­man said. The in­sti­tute also re­mains a prodi­gious pro­du­cer of re­ports on food, pop­u­la­tion, and en­vir­on­ment­al is­sues, in­clud­ing the State of the World books that have been pub­lished an­nu­ally since 1984. (The 2014 edi­tion, fo­cused on “Gov­ern­ing for Sus­tain­ab­il­ity,” is due out later this month.)

En­gel­man, who grew up in Falls Church, Va., came to the in­sti­tute after a 30-year ca­reer in both journ­al­ism and en­vir­on­ment­al re­search. After gradu­at­ing from the Columbia Uni­versity Gradu­ate School of Journ­al­ism in 1976 with a Pulitzer fel­low­ship, he spent a year in Lat­in Amer­ica re­port­ing for the As­so­ci­ated Press and sev­er­al U.S. news­pa­pers.

That led to a job writ­ing from Wash­ing­ton for the Kan­sas City Times, and later for the Rocky Moun­tain News in the Scripps Howard Bur­eau, where he carved out the med­ic­al beat. “But I was al­ways drawn to en­vir­on­ment­al re­port­ing,” En­gel­man said, and he was the found­ing board sec­ret­ary for the So­ci­ety of En­vir­on­ment­al Journ­al­ists in 1990.

En­gel­man moved to Pop­u­la­tion Ac­tion In­ter­na­tion­al, a re­search and ad­vocacy group on fam­ily plan­ning, in 1999, then be­came vice pres­id­ent for pro­grams at the World­watch In­sti­tute in 2007. He be­came pres­id­ent in 2011 when Flav­in stepped down from the post.

What We're Following See More »
PROCEDURES NOT FOLLOWED
Trump Not on Ballot in Minnesota
4 days ago
THE LATEST
MOB RULE?
Trump on Immigration: ‘I Don’t Know, You Tell Me’
4 days ago
THE LATEST

Perhaps Donald Trump can take a plebiscite to solve this whole messy immigration thing. At a Fox News town hall with Sean Hannity last night, Trump essentially admitted he's "stumped," turning to the audience and asking: “Can we go through a process or do you think they have to get out? Tell me, I mean, I don’t know, you tell me.”

Source:
BIG CHANGE FROM WHEN HE SELF-FINANCED
Trump Enriching His Businesses with Donor Money
6 days ago
WHY WE CARE

Donald Trump "nearly quintupled the monthly rent his presidential campaign pays for its headquarters at Trump Tower to $169,758 in July, when he was raising funds from donors, compared with March, when he was self-funding his campaign." A campaign spokesman "said the increased office space was needed to accommodate an anticipated increase in employees," but the campaign's paid staff has actually dipped by about 25 since March. The campaign has also paid his golf courses and restaurants about $260,000 since mid-May.

Source:
QUESTIONS OVER IMMIGRATION POLICY
Trump Cancels Rallies
6 days ago
THE LATEST

Donald Trump probably isn't taking seriously John Oliver's suggestion that he quit the race. But he has canceled or rescheduled rallies amid questions over his stance on immigration. Trump rescheduled a speech on the topic that he was set to give later this week. Plus, he's also nixed planned rallies in Oregon and Las Vegas this month.

Source:
‘STRATEGY AND MESSAGING’
Sean Hannity Is Also Advising Trump
1 weeks ago
THE LATEST

Donald Trump's Fox News brain trust keeps growing. After it was revealed that former Fox chief Roger Ailes is informally advising Trump on debate preparation, host Sean Hannity admitted over the weekend that he's also advising Trump on "strategy and messaging." He told the New York Times: “I’m not hiding the fact that I want Donald Trump to be the next president of the United States. I never claimed to be a journalist.”

Source:
×