Experience Faculty & Research

Share / Print

Tensie Whelan

Tensie Whelan

Joined Stern 2015

Leonard N. Stern School of Business
Kaufman Management Center
44 West Fourth Street,
New York, NY 10012

E-mail twhelan@stern.nyu.edu

Biography

Tensie Whelan joined New York University Stern School of Business in November 2015 as Clinical Professor of Business and Society. She will lead the School’s efforts around issues of business and sustainability, driving research and coursework on natural resource-based challenges including climate change, water scarcity, biodiversity loss, poverty and unsustainable development. Professor Whelan was formerly the President of the Rainforest Alliance, where she worked since 2000. In 2014, she was appointed as the School’s 2014-2015 Citi Leadership and Ethics Distinguished Fellow.

During her tenure at Rainforest Alliance, she increased the organization’s budget from $4.5 million to $50 million; ensured that 17% of the world’s tea, 14% of the world’s cocoa and 5% of the world’s coffee was certified by the Rainforest Alliance; and increased the visibility of the Rainforest Alliance seal from zero to nearly 45%. Under her leadership, the organization recruited 4,000 companies and nearly 5 million producers and their families in more than 60 countries.

Professor Whelan has been working in the environmental field for more than 25 years. Her published works include one of the first books on ecofriendly tourism, Nature Tourism: Managing for the Environment. She has been recognized as one of the “100 Most Influential People in Business Ethics” by Ethisphere and was awarded the James Beard Foundation Leadership Award in 2012. She serves on the advisory boards of Social Accountability International and Corporate Eco Forum, and she is the co-chair of the steering committee of Sustainable Food Lab.

Professor Whelan has also served as the Vice President of Conservation Information at the National Audubon Society, Executive Director of the New York League of Conservation Voters, Managing Editor of Ambio and management consultant to nonprofit organizations such as the Environmental Defense Fund.

She received a B.A. in Politics from New York University and an M.A. in International Communication from American University.

Research Interests

  • Environmentalism
  • Sustainable Business
  • Business Ethics
  • Ecofriendly Tourism

Academic Background

M.A., International Communication
American University

B.A., New York University
Politics

Related News & Research

"Climate Action: Mobilizing the World" with António Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations

Professor Tensie Whelan comments on ING's loan interest discounts for sustainable businesses

Professor Tensie Whelan is interviewed about socially responsible investing

Is Sustainability Sustainable in the Age of Trump?

Professor Tensie Whelan discusses Nespresso's sustainability efforts

Tensie Whelan Speaks at 2017 Edelman Trust Barometer Davos Preview Panel, Stockholm School of Economics

Professor Tensie Whelan is interviewed about her work at Stern's Center for Sustainable Business

Professor Tensie Whelan comments on PepsiCo's conservation efforts in Latin America

Professor Tensie Whelan discusses her research on the business case for sustainability

NYU Stern's Center for Sustainable Business: Jerome L. Dodson Talk

Professor Tensie Whelan's remarks at the Business versus Climate Change Conference are highlighted

Professor Tensie Whelan is highlighted in a "Portraits of Excellence" feature for her work as Director of Stern's Center for Sustainable Business

NYU Stern's Center for Sustainable Business Panel Discussion

Professor Tensie Whelan is interviewed about the importance of sustainability for businesses

Professor Tensie Whelan comments on Elon Musk’s strategy for developing a broad range of consumer sustainability solutions

Stern Students Learn to Chart U.S. Fiscal Policy through Interactive Training

The Comprehensive Business Case for Sustainability

Doing Good Is Good Business: A Conversation with David Arison

A Conversation with Unilever CEO Paul Polman on the 21st Century Corporation

In an op-ed pegged to Earth Day, Professor Tensie Whelan argues why companies should adopt a stakeholder model and manage to sustainability goals