Writer and Deputy Director of Environmental Defense Fund's Catch Share Design

James G. Workman

About the Speaker

James G. Workman is a leader in the design and creation of natural resource conservation markets for fresh water and marine fisheries. He is the author of Heart of Dryness: How the Last Bushmen Can Help Us Endure the Coming Age of Permanent Drought, awarded best book of the year by the Society of Environmental Journalists, and is currently co-authoring a book with the working title The Sea Change: How to Transform the Way We Govern, Value and Harvest the Wild.

In 1990 Workman graduated cum laude with a B.A. in history from Yale, and has been a visiting professor at Wesleyan and Whitman colleges. But he earned his real education by blowing up dams, releasing wolves, igniting wildland fires, guiding safaris, smuggling water to besieged indigenous dissidents after breaking down alone in Africa's Kalahari Desert, and becoming a father.

After early years as an investigative journalist in Washington, DC, the U.S. Secretary of the Interior Bruce Babbitt recruited Workman to help advance national fire, fishery, endangered species and river restoration policies. Overseas, he became senior adviser to the World Commission on Dams under Nelson Mandela, and then a consultant to corporations, governments and international NGOs. Now based in San Francisco, he is Deputy Director of Environmental Defense Fund's Catch Share Design Center, and co-founder of SmartMarkets, a utility-based start-up venture inspired by the Bushmen, which unlocks the scarcity value of water and energy.