The Foreign Service Journal, April 2024

THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL | APRIL 2024 55 Alongtime State Department colleague, Robin Delabarre, was fond of saying that virtue is its own, and sometimes only, reward; but for me, working for environmental causes in the nonpro t sector, the rewards have been multiple. First, I’ve learned a tremendous amount. Retiring out of the Bureau of Economic and Business A airs’ O ce of Development Finance at the end of 2008, at 53, I was hired by Conservation International (CI) as director for multilateral relations. While I had had some prior experience in conservation, my expertise was development nance and multilateral institutions. But CI had a large cuttingedge science team, which held regular brown-bag lunches to share their work. I learned about natural capital accounting, marine areas management, and rapid biodiversity assessment. CI overseas country sta also presented their work in places from Suriname to South Africa and from Cambodia to Kiribati. I then applied this learning in promoting CI’s work and advocating for policies and programs to advance its goals. At the same time, I was able to share my expertise and contacts, so that CI sta were empowered to work directly with the World Bank, other multilateral development banks (MDBs), and the trust funds they operate. We had success as CI was chosen to implement a World Bank program for sustainable management of tuna sheries and a global grant program for Indigenous peoples, among others. The Nonprofit, Environment Route BY LADD CONNELL Left: Ladd Connell with villagers near Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, December 2023. Ladd Connell (right) with BIC partner Geoˆrey Kamese at the equator in Uganda, December 2023. COURTESY OF LADD CONNELL I left CI after more than eight years, as CI shifted the focus of our o ce purely to fundraising, and I preferred the policy piece. rough contacts from my CI years, I landed rst at the International Union for Conservation of Nature, consulting on World Bank safeguards, and in early 2018, at the Bank Information Center (BIC) as environment director. Although small, BIC is able to “punch above its weight” thanks to its focus on MDBs, its location close to the headquarters of two banks (World Bank, Inter-American Development Bank), and its close contact with U.S. government sta involved in MDB policies and programs. is includes a monthly meeting, known as Tuesday Group, with the interagency sta and other nongovernmental organizations (NGOs). BIC also serves as the MDB expert in several NGO coalitions, such as one devoted