Staff Bio Single

John Talberth

President and Senior Economist

John is the founder of Center for Sustainable Economy and currently serves as both President and Senior Economist. John coordinates consulting work with non-profits, businesses, universities, and government agencies seeking environmental economics expertise and analysis to support their sustainability initiatives and programs. He also leads work on CSE’s Wild and Working Forests, Genuine Progress, and Green Infrastructure Programs.

John holds a Ph.D. in International and Environmental Economics from the University of New Mexico and an M.A. in Urban and Regional Planning from the University of Oregon. His areas of expertise include non-market valuation, international trade, public policy, benefit-cost analysis, forest management, sustainable development, sustainability indicators and land use planning. He has published articles in several peer reviewed journals including Ecological Economics, Contemporary Economic Policy, Natural Resources Journal and Environment, Development and Sustainability as well as several book chapters. He has also published dozens of reports and studies quantifying the costs and benefits of public policy decisions for CSE’s non-profit and government clients and has received extensive international, national, and regional media coverage of his work.

Prior to CSE, John was the co-founder and Conservation Director for Forest Conservation Council in the late 1980s through 2000 and has led several grassroots campaigns to secure permanent protection for native forests and wildlands in the Pacific Northwest and Southwest, fight urban sprawl, and protect migratory birds. John led FCC’s joint program with National Audubon Society to map the remaining extent of ancient forests in the Pacific Northwest and Southwest as well over a thousand administrative and legal challenges to logging projects that threatened to unravel these complex native ecosystems. John also led a nationwide program with American Bird Conservancy to challenge communication towers harmful to migratory birds. The program secured new federal regulations requiring analysis of environmental impacts and mitigation of harm. John’s work led to similar success with respect to environmental impact procedures of federal agencies that contribute to urban sprawl.

From 2004 to 2008, John also led the Sustainability Indicators Program at Redefining Progress, a program jointly managed with CSE. In the context of this program, John published a new methodology for the Genuine Progress Indicator for the US – a methodology that has now been accepted in several states pursuing their own variants of the GPI. With Redefining Progress, John also created the Ecological Footprint Quiz, which reaches millions annually as a tool for identifying sustainable lifestyle choices.