As Research Director, Thomas Brendler has led strategy engagements with a wide range of multinational NGOs, advocacy groups, foundations, and cultural institutions, including the National Forest Foundation, the Sapelo Foundation, the Earth Science Information Partnership, and the Center for Health and Gender Equity. As part of this work, he has interviewed hundreds of NGO leaders from around the world in the fields of conservation, philanthropy, and global health and development, immersing him in a wide range of critical issues including endangered species reintroduction, Ebola response, big data, climate change, health systems strengthening, historic preservation, low-residency higher education, and reproductive health and rights. Earlier in his career, he built and managed an association of nonprofits, small businesses, agencies and researchers promoting community forestry, which became a powerful voice for the rural poor and the first US forest conservation organization to launch a cultural diversity program. Later he rescued another NGO from the brink of bankruptcy, advised two major US grantmakers, and co-founded a global coalition of peasants, communities, and indigenous peoples which had an lasting impact on UN negotiations. He has been a guest lecturer at Brown University, a freelance business journalist, and a mentor with Social Venture Partners Rhode Island. His first book, A Part of This Earth: Three Generations of Progressive Philanthropy in Georgia, was published last year, and he is currently at work on his second. His writing has appeared in McSweeney’s, Open Letters Monthly, and Grist. He holds a B.A. from Tufts University and Master’s Degree in Forestry from Yale University, during which researched the evolution of seed dispersal mechanisms and the strategic foraging behavior of caterpillars, and humbly served as lead singer in band Charismatic Megafauna.