Our People

Michelle J. DePass

TNC Board Member and President and CEO, Meyer Memorial Trust

Portland, Oregon

  • AREAS OF EXPERTISE

    Social, Economic and Environmental Justice

  • Board Term

    October 2020 - October 2029

  • Media Contact

    Email: media@tnc.org

Biography

Michelle J. DePass is president and CEO of Meyer Memorial Trust and a nationally recognized leader at the intersection of social, economic and environmental justice.

Michelle’s journey to the helm of Oregon’s second largest private foundation began in her hometown of New York City, where she worked as a community organizer and civil rights lawyer. In the succeeding three decades, she has developed a rich interdisciplinary background and distinguished herself as a thought leader at the intersections of academia, political strategy and progressive philanthropy and social and economic justice.

Michelle is committed to overcoming structural and historical barriers to social and political equality and economic justice for women, people of color, Indigenous communities, LGBTQ+ people and people with disabilities.

During the Obama administration, Michelle served as Assistant Administrator for International and Tribal Affairs of the Environmental Protection Agency, where she was responsible for all dimensions of environmental policy between the agency, other nations, federally recognized Tribal Nations, and multilateral institutions and donors. Michelle came to Meyer in 2018 after serving as dean of the Milano School of International Affairs, Management and Urban Policy at The New School in New York and director of the Tishman Environment and Design Center, shepherding both the program and the university toward environmental stewardship and a greater focus on social justice.

Read Michelle’s full bio.

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