Watch: Nature Conservancy CEO Mark Tercek P’17 Urges Compassion

Mark Tercek, president and CEO of The Nature Conservancy, and a Bowdoin parent, was invited to the campus Nov. 24 to give a talk at a Bowdoin Breakfast and to meet with a group of students interested in pursuing environmental careers.

In his talk, Tercek spoke about what he believes needs to happen to accelerate progress in the environmental movement. He said he arrived at The Nature Conservancy eight years ago — after a career on Wall Street — with the notion that free-market principles are the best way to speed up environmental action. “To a large degree I was right, and I’ve also learned from being on the job that while those rational processes are fine, we also need to work with people’s hearts,” he said in a brief interview after the talk. People are motivated to act by their care for other people, future generations and other species, he continued. “That bold and passionate approach will allow us to best harness these market principals, and will also lead to joyous and inspiring lives.”

Tercek is the author of the Washington Post and Publisher’s Weekly bestselling book Nature’s Fortune: How Business and Society Thrive by Investing in Nature. A former managing director and Partner for Goldman Sachs, where he spent 24 years, Tercek brings business experience to his role leading the Conservancy, which he joined in 2008. He is a champion of the idea of natural capital — valuing nature for its own sake as well as for the services it provides for people, such as clean air and water, productive soils and a stable climate. Tercek earned an M.B.A. from Harvard in 1984 and a B.A. from Williams College in 1979.

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