IGA 455. Leadership in Environmental Conflicts

The world needs leaders with the skills, courage and perseverance to fight for environmental health and a sustainable future. The goal of this course is to help students develop the practical leadership skills needed to solve the most pressing global environmental conflicts - whether in government, NGO or business.

Leadership is difficult in any enterprise, but it is especially hard when the opposition has vastly more power and money. To overcome this imbalance, environmental leaders have learned to build power through skillful negotiation, strategy, communications and advocacy.

Negotiation: Through a series of intense negotiation simulations, students will learn how leaders analyze interests, create value and negotiate complex multi-party agreements. 

Strategy: Environmental activists are often not invited to the negotiating table, so they must start by building power. We will examine how leaders diagnose conflicts, develop a campaign strategy, organize coalitions and get results.

Communications: Environmental leaders develop influence through a compelling message, persuasive speaking, and mobilization of both traditional and digital media. They know how to interpret scientific findings to a skeptical public.

Advocacy: Leaders need the skills to shape legislation, recruit allies, lobby elected officials and maneuver through each step of the legislative process.

This course will help students strengthen these skills, drawing on academic research, the experiences of global environmental leaders and the instructor’s 28 years in environmental leadership. As president of the Land Trust Alliance, Rand Wentworth was the leader for over 1,000 conservation organizations and worked closely with the U.S. Congress to pass environmental legislation that helped double the pace of land conservation in America.

Requirement: Students who have not taken a course in negotiation will be required to attend an all-day review session during the first week of class.


Rand Wentworth





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  • [Course titles in brackets] indicate that the course is not scheduled to be taught during the 2020-2021 academic year, but may be offered in an alternate year.
  • An asterisk (*) before a course number indicates that a student must obtain the instructor's permission in order to enroll in the course.

Harvard University
Center for the Environment

Address: 26 Oxford Street, 4th Floor, Cambridge
Phone: (617) 495-0368

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