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Jennifer Molnar

Managing Director and Lead Scientist, Center for Sustainability Science

Arlington, Virginia

Jennifer Molnar Jennifer Molnar, a Conservancy scientist leading the organization's work on corporate sustainability. © Amy Deputy


Sustainability, Valuing Nature's Benefits, Climate Change Adaptation




As managing director and lead scientist of The Nature Conservancy’s new Center for Sustainability Science, Jen provides thought leadership on improving society’s ability to create a more sustainable future for nature and people, including through corporate practices and policy. The Center is focused on enabling transformative change by filling science gaps that are inhibiting large-scale uptake and implementation of sustainability solutions via corporate practices and policy.

Jen has 15 years of experience bringing science to decisions that improve the state of the natural world and how people depend on it, including through research, global assessments, corporate practice innovations, and environmental remediation. 
She is the science lead for the TNC-Dow Chemical Company collaboration to incorporate nature and the value it provides to people into corporate decision-making. This work has led to Dow’s ground-breaking ten-year Valuing Nature Goal – a commitment to consider nature in all of the Fortune 50 company’s capital, R&D, and real estate decisions by 2020, while aiming to generate $1B in business value from projects that are good for business and good for ecosystems.

She has led interdisciplinary global teams of Conservancy scientists and economists dedicated to cutting-edge research and practice, including most recently, Jen was the director of science for The Nature Conservancy, where she was responsible for helping the Conservancy bring the best possible science to the organization's evolving conservation work.

Jen joined The Nature Conservancy in 2004 as part of an international team of scientists that collected, tracked, and analyzed global data to inform conservation. She was editor and co-author of The Atlas of Global Conservation (University of California Press, 2010). Partnering with some 70 institutions around the world, she and her Conservancy co-authors compiled and developed an unprecedented number of global maps to describe the state of the natural world. Jen worked with partners to make all of the data behind the global maps publicly available online. She led global analyses of habitat condition and threats with a focus on marine and freshwater systems, including the first global assessment of the distribution, pathways, and ecological impacts of marine invasive species.

Jen has been both a Sawhill Global Leadership Fellow and a Doris Duke Conservation Fellow. She is recognized as a global thought leader in sustainability science, speaking frequently at national and international conferences, and publishing widely in the academic literature.
Jen received a master’s degree from Yale’s School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, where she studied the impacts of land use change on coastal ecosystems and now serves as a board member of the Alumni Association.  She has a B.S. in environmental engineering from Harvard and has previous private sector experience in hydrology and environmental remediation.

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