Amanda Leland Named Executive Director of Environmental Defense Fund

October 6, 2021
Eric Pooley, 212-616-1329,

(New York – October 6, 2021) Environmental Defense Fund president Fred Krupp today announced the promotion of Amanda Leland to Executive Director of the organization.

Leland, a marine scientist by training, has served in a number of leadership roles during her 17 years at EDF, most recently as executive vice president overseeing programs in climate, energy, oceans, ecosystems, and health — but her relationship with the organization goes back to the age of 13, when she first became an EDF member.

Reporting directly to Krupp, who will continue to serve as EDF president, Leland will be responsible for driving EDF’s global mission of ensuring a vital earth for everyone by addressing the existential challenge of climate change: rapidly reducing climate pollution while building resilience for people and communities in the face of the impacts we cannot avert.

“The climate crisis has never been more urgent, or presented more opportunity for breakthrough progress,” said Krupp. “It takes a visionary leader and inspiring manager to seize this moment of opportunity, and Amanda is both. I am fortunate to have such a talented, passionate change-maker dedicating herself to our mission. For the past year she has been leading an organization-wide strategic refresh at EDF, and in her new role she will galvanize our people and partners to turn that vision into reality.”

“EDF is a special mix of honesty, ambition, empathy and grit – ingredients that are essential to meeting this moment,” said Leland. “We are strengthening our platform and evolving our approach to drive impact at scale in a rapidly changing world. In my time at EDF, I have had the honor of working alongside colleagues and partners to usher in historic wins for people and the planet and I am humbled by the opportunity to support our global team in making lasting progress on climate change.”

As executive director, Leland will ensure that EDF is delivering significant results through multi-disciplinary global initiatives. She will deepen our culture of collaboration, enhance our people-centered approach, and address enterprise risks and opportunities. She will support and encourage staff throughout the organization to grow their ideas, talents, leadership, and enthusiasm for EDF.

“Fred and Amanda are a leadership dream team for EDF,” said Mark Heising, chairman of the EDF Board of Trustees. “In the decade I’ve worked with them, I’ve watched Amanda become the kind of leader we need right now — thoughtful and data-driven, with an ability to rally her colleagues and a singular focus on solutions that can scale globally to improve the lives of people around the world.”

Leland’s past experience in building and leading a diverse team of ocean experts in 13 countries will help her in this new role. Working with local fishers, her team transformed seafood sustainability while improving livelihoods. Before joining EDF in 2004, she was a scientist conducting cooperative research with commercial fishermen in Maine, a marine mammal zookeeper, and a Congressional aide focused on ocean issues. She holds an M.S. in Marine Biology from the University of Maine.

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One of the world’s leading international nonprofit organizations, Environmental Defense Fund ( creates transformational solutions to the most serious environmental problems. To do so, EDF links science, economics, law, and innovative private-sector partnerships. With more than 2.5 million members and offices in the United States, China, Mexico, Indonesia and the European Union, EDF’s scientists, economists, attorneys and policy experts are working in 28 countries to turn our solutions into action. Connect with us on Twitter @EnvDefenseFund