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

A Conversation With John McAvoy: How Sustainability Drives Success at Con Edison

Stern's Sustainability for Competitive Advantage course is featured; Professor Tensie Whelan, Center for Sustainable Business Senior Associate Director Sophie Rifkin and two recent graduates are quoted

Powering the Future: Energy Transformation in the US

How to Quantify Sustainability’s Impact on Your Bottom Line

Professor Tensie Whelan underscores the impact businesses can have on society through their activism and engagement efforts

Professor Tensie Whelan comments on the resignation of several business leaders from President Trump's advisory councils

The Urban Answer to Climate Change: Rally a City to Capture Stormwater

Professor Tensie Whelan shares how governments can help protect water sources by charging corporate users the real cost of water

Professor Tensie Whelan's remarks on sustainable business in a panel discussion on supply chain management are highlighted

Professor Tensie Whelan is interviewed about rising student interest in sustainability issues

Professor Tensie Whelan discusses the Paris Agreement and the implications for MBA students

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

"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?

The Path Forward: Chipotle's Vision for its Future Food Ecosystem

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