Michael K. Dorsey

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
This article is about Michael K. Dorsey. For the character from the film Tootsie, see Tootsie.
CBC Interviews Dr. Dorsey, at 2005 Montreal Climate Summit

Michael K. Dorsey is an interdisciplinary scholar, policy analyst and intellectual. He is Interim Director of Energy and Environment at the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies in Washington D.C. and advisor to the United Nations' NGLS—a UN inter-agency programme administered by UNCTAD. Dorsey is a recognized expert on global governance and sustainability.


He holds a B.S. and Ph.D. (2005) in Natural Resources and Environmental Policy from the University of Michigan School of Natural Resources and Environment (UM-SNRE).[1] He also holds a Master of Forest Science (M.F.S) from Yale University's School of Forestry and Environmental Studies (1996); and an M.A. in Anthropology from The Johns Hopkins University (1998).

Early environmental advocacy[edit]

In 1991, Dorsey served as a youth delegate to the U.S. First National People of Color Environmental Leadership Summit. In 1992, Dorsey served as the youngest NGO representative on the U.S. State Department Delegation to the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED or the "Earth Summit") in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.[2][3][4][5]


For more than two decades Dr. Dorsey has provided strategic guidance and advice to governments, foundations, firms and a multitude of others on the interplay of multilateral environment policy, finance and economic development matters across the Americas, Africa, Asia and Europe. Some of his career highlights include:[6]

  • 2013- Visiting Fellow, Energy and Environment Program, Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, Washington D.C.
  • 2012-13, Visiting fellow in environmental studies in Wesleyan University’s College of the Environment.
  • 2011- Visiting scholar at the University of KwaZulu-Natal.
  • 2005-2012. Assistant professor in Dartmouth College’s Environmental Studies Program and the Director of the College’s Climate Justice Research Project.
  • 2001-2003. Thurgood Marshall Fellowship in Environmental Studies and Geography, Dartmouth College.
  • 2001-2005. What Next? project at Dag Hammarskjöld Foundation.
  • 2002 Visiting Lecturer at the University of Witwatersrand.
  • 1999-2001 Program director with the Instituto de Estudios Ecologistas del Tercer Mundo and Acción Ecológica, Ecuador.
  • 1997–2003; 2009-10; and 2014- Director, Sierra Club.
  • 1993-1994 African Centre for Technology Studies, Nairobi.


In 2010, Dorsey was appointed to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's National Advisory Committee (NAC). In 2012, Dorsey was reappointed.

From 2007-2008, he served on Senator Barack Obama’s energy and environment Presidential campaign team.

From 1997-2003, he was a director of the Sierra Club.[7] Dorsey was re-elected to the Sierra Club board in 2014. Dorsey is also a founding member of the San Francisco-based Center for Environmental Health and a co-founding director of the Environmental Leadership Program.[8]

In addition, he is co-founder and board member of Islands First, a multilateral negotiating-capacity-building organization for small island developing states facing disproportionate threats from unfolding climate change,[9] Detroit XPAC, a nonpartisan political action committee whose goal is to help the expats of Detroit and of Michigan connect with their hometowns by collecting contributions and supporting candidates who will revitalize Detroit in a fiscally- and environmentally- responsible manner,[10] and U.S. Climate Plan, a climate policy advocacy group elevating the national dialogue, engaging the American people, and building political support for real climate policy solutions.[11]

In 1993, Dorsey served on the task force for President Clinton’s Council on Sustainable Development.


  • Dartmouth College Social Justice Award for "Ongoing Commitment." (2011).[12]
  • Nominated for the Ford Foundation's Leadership for a Changing World Award (2000).[13]
  • Rotary International’s highest honor, the Paul Harris Medal for Distinguished Service to Humanity (1997)[14]


Dorsey's opinions on environmental policy have appeared in a broad range of news outlets, including: The New York Times,[15][16] Asian Wall Street Journal and the Wall Street Journal Europe, The New Scientist,[17] Institutional Investor Magazine, US News and World Report, CNN International,[18] The Australian Broadcasting Corporation,[19] the Earth Negotiations Bulletin (ENB), Malaysiakini.com and others.