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Environmental Law Institute's Annual Award Goes to Former ELI President

April 16, 2008

(Washington, DC) — The Environmental Law Institute® will pay tribute to its former president, J. William “Bill” Futrell, with the 2008 ELI Award for Achievement in Environmental Law, Policy, and Management. The award honors Futrell’s career-long dedication to conservation and recognizes his 23 years of achievement as ELI President concluding in 2003.

A former President of the Sierra Club, Bill Futrell took the helm of ELI in 1980. Under his direction, ELI became a global leader protecting our environment through law, policy and management and initiated capacity building educational programs throughout the world. His visionary approach was behind the conceptual development of sustainable development law, integrating the diverse strains of pollution and natural resources law, as well incorporating the social and economic aspects.

In the 1980s, Futrell created ELI’s Associates Program and pioneered and developed its International Program. He engaged an extensive network of environmental professionals throughout the world, making ELI a leading presence in global discussions of sustainable development, for example at the Rio Earth Summit (1992) and the Johannesburg World Summit on Sustainable Development (2002). He also spearheaded ELI’s world-renowned international Judicial Education Program, and Futrell Scholars carry on Bill’s dedication to sustainable development. ELI now has a diverse mix of stakeholders and is a leading research, publishing, and educational institution in the United States and abroad.

“Together we’re building the idea base, the ethical and moral standards that will govern humanity’s use of the environment for the long term. We’re expanding consciousness of environmental law and of its greatest achievement: the codification of a change in ethics, a recognition that government and individual responsibility extend to the natural world.”
— J. William Futrell, ELI President, 1980-2003