Nigel Sizer

Chief Program Officer

Nigel Sizer served for two years as president of the Rainforest Alliance until January 2018. He helped lead the successful merger with the leading Dutch-based non-profit UTZ and following the merger shifted to his current role as Chief Program Officer role, continuing to be based in New York.

As the former global director of the Forests Program at the World Resources Institute, Sizer led a hundred-person team across Africa, Asia, and Latin America and launched path-breaking partnerships including the award-winning Global Forest Watch and the Global Restoration Initiative.

Sizer also served as vice president for Asia-Pacific with Rare, where he developed grassroots efforts to link impoverished communities in Indonesia to global carbon markets and pioneered community-based fisheries and marine protected areas efforts. In 2008, he served as lead advisor on climate change and energy issues in Asia to former US President Bill Clinton and the Clinton Global Initiative. He has also worked with the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) in Nairobi and established The Nature Conservancy’s Asia-Pacific Forest Program. He also founded and co-chaired The Forests Dialogue, and helped establish and lead the Asia Forest Partnership.

A globally-recognized authority on forests, ecology, climate change and development, Sizer holds Bachelors, Masters, and Doctoral degrees in natural sciences and tropical forest ecology from the University of Cambridge. He has lived and worked in Brazil, Africa, and spent ten years in Indonesia. He has served on numerous boards and advisory groups including the Tropical Forest Alliance, the Rainforest Foundation, the Amazon Alliance, the Global Forest Foundation, and the Andean Center for Sustainable Development. He has received numerous awards including the Henry Arnold Conservation Fellowship from the Mulago Foundation and the United Nations Secretary General’s Big Data Challenge prize. He has been a frequent commentator on environment and development issues for the BBC, CNN, and Al Jazeera. He also helps inspire future leaders as an adjunct professor of nonprofit administration, politics and policy at Baruch College, City University of New York.


2019 Was One of the Hottest Years on Record. Will 2020 be Worse?