Thomas E. Lovejoy became the first recipient of the newly created Heinz Center Biodiversity Chair in August 2008. Previously he served as President of the Heinz Center since May 2002.
Before coming to The Heinz Center, he was the World Bank’s Chief Biodiversity Advisor and Lead Specialist for Environment for Latin America and the Caribbean and Senior Advisor to the President of the United Nations Foundation.
Dr. Lovejoy has been Assistant Secretary and Counselor to the Secretary at the Smithsonian Institution, Science Advisor to the Secretary of the Interior, and Executive Vice President of the World Wildlife Fund–U.S. He conceived the idea for the Minimum Critical Size of Ecosystems project (a joint project between the Smithsonian and Brazil's INPA), originated the concept of debt-for-nature swaps, and is the founder of the public television series Nature. In 2001 he was awarded the prestigious Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement. Dr. Lovejoy served on science and environmental councils or committees under the Reagan, Bush, and Clinton administrations. He received his B. S. and Ph.D. (biology) degrees from Yale University.