Jim Leape is the Cox Consulting Professor in the School of Earth, Energy & Environmental Sciences and a consulting professor at the Stanford Woods Institute. Through research, writing and direct engagement with private and public sector leaders, he is looking at how to drive large-scale systemic shifts to sustainability, with particular interest in expanding private sector leadership on sustainability globally and, specifically, in China.

Leape has 30 years of conservation experience spanned a wide range of conservation efforts on every continent. From 2005 to 2014, he served as Director General of WWF International and leader of the global WWF Network, which is one of the world’s largest conservation organizations, active in more than 100 countries. In that capacity, he worked with government, business and civil society leaders on wide range of issues including climate change, forest protection, marine conservation, water resources management, and sustainability in global commodity markets. Previously, he directed the conservation and science initiatives of the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, a leading philanthropy in the U.S. Jim has also worked as a lawyer for the United Nations Environment Programme in Nairobi, Kenya, a law professor and a trial attorney for the U.S. Department of Justice.  

Leape has served as an advisor to the World Economic Forum, on the board of the International Civil Society Center, and on the China Council for International Cooperation in Environment and Development, which advises the Premier of China on environmental policy.

Leape received an A.B. with honors from Harvard College and a J.D. with honors from Harvard Law School.