David Orr is the Paul Sears Distinguished Professor of Environmental Studies and Politics and Special Assistant to the President of Oberlin College and executive director of the Oberlin Project. He is a trustee of the Worldwatch Institute, the Bioneers, and the Alliance for a Sustainable Colorado.
Orr’s career as a scholar, teacher, writer, speaker, and entrepreneur spans fields as diverse as environment and politics, environmental education, campus greening, green building, ecological design, and climate change. He is the author of seven books and co-editor of three others. His books, Ecological Literacy and Earth in Mind are widely read and used in hundreds of colleges and universities. Hope is an Imperative: The Essential David Orr is a collection of his writings from 1985 to 2010.
In 1996, Orr organized the effort to design the first substantially green building on a U.S. college campus. The story of that building is told in two books, The Nature of Design and Design on the Edge.
Orr’s recent political writings appear in, The Last Refuge: Patriotism, Politics, and the Environment in an Age of Terror, and articles such as “The Imminent Demise of the Republican Party”, written in January of 2005.
Recent projects include a two year $1.2 million collaborative project to define a 100 days climate action plan for the Obama administration. Orr is active in efforts to stop mountaintop removal in Appalachia and develop a new economy based on ecological restoration and wind energy. He is the author of the 2009 book Down to the Wire: Confronting Climate Collapse. He is presently the executive director of the Oberlin Project which is focused on making the City of Oberlin a model of sustainability and replicating that effort through a National Sustainable Communities Coalition.