As executive director, David Yarnold is responsible for all operations of Environmental Defense Fund, a leading global environmental advocacy NGO with 380 employees, 500,000 members and a $105 million budget. He was a key leader in the passage of the California’s Global Warming Act, the nation’s most sweeping climate change legislation. He is the driving force behind the globalization of the U.S.-based organization, including its groundbreaking environmental program in China. He has sharpened and strengthened the unique Environmental Defense approach of harmonizing corporate profitability and environmental benefits. In 2006, he announced Environmental Defense would be the first environmental advocacy group to open an office in Bentonville, Arkansas, to influence Wal-Mart’s environmental practices.
Mr. Yarnold is a boundary-crosser, a leader from the for-profit ranks, He joined Environmental Defense Fund in 2005 after 27 years at the San Jose Mercury News and at Knight Ridder. A Pulitzer Prize-winning editor, Mr. Yarnold helped make the Mercury News one of the nation’s most acclaimed publications, ranked among the 10 best papers nationally and called by one international organization “America’s boldest newspaper.” As executive editor, he managed a global newsroom of more than 400 people while chronicling the rise of Silicon Valley.
He has appeared on CNN, MSNBC, BBC, the PBS News Hour and is regularly cited by global news agencies and major newspapers. He is on the board of directors of the American Leadership Forum Silicon Valley, EcoAmerica, the Stanford University Graduate School of Businesses’ Center for Social Innovation Review and LINK TV.