David W. Orr

David W. Orr

David W. Orr is the executive director of the Oberlin Project, which was formed out of his vision of full-spectrum sustainability. The Oberlin Project is a joint venture of the town of Oberlin, Ohio, and Oberlin College to create a thriving, sustainable, and environmentally friendly community to support local residents and students.

The author or coauthor of numerous articles, reviews, and books, including Ecological Literacy and Down to the Wire: Confronting Climate Collapse, David Orr is also the Paul Sears Distinguished Professor of Environmental Studies and Politics, and Senior Adviser to the President of Oberlin College. In the past 25 years, Orr has served as a board member, trustee, or adviser for many foundations and organizations, including the Rocky Mountain Institute, Alliance for Sustainable Colorado, the WorldWatch Institute, and Bioneers. 

David W. Orr has been awarded seven honorary degrees and a dozen other awards including a Lyndhurst Prize, a National Achievement Award from the National Wildlife Federation, and a “Visionary Leadership Award” from Second Nature. He has lectured at hundreds of colleges and universities throughout the United States, Europe, and Asia. He also headed the effort to design, fund, and build the Adam Joseph Lewis Center, which was named by an AIA panel in 2010 as “the most important green building of the past 30 years,” and as “one of 30 milestone buildings of the 20th century” by the United States Department of Energy. He is the executive director of the Oberlin project and a founding editor of the journal Solutions.

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