For twenty years, the Beahrs Environmental Leadership Program (ELP) has provided an innovative, rigorous learning experience that transforms environmental professionals into exceptional leaders. Established in 2000, this program has equipped hundreds of environmental and sustainable development specialists from across the globe to lead efforts in solving the planet's most pressing challenges.

Chancellor Carol T. Christ

Under the academic leadership of Dean Emeritus and Professor J. Keith Gilless and Professor David Zilberman, the Beahrs ELP has created a generation of leaders dedicated to pursuing collaborative solutions to reduce poverty, social conflict, and preserving our world’s vital natural resources.

One of the first of its kind to address environmental and sustainability issues, the program’s unique and intensive interdisciplinary workshops cover a range of topics: from policies for sustainable development, to green finance, to mitigation of climate change. Workshops are conducted with real-world approaches that utilize various training methods such as lectures, site visits, case studies, role play, panels, and presentations. Applying this versatile pedagogy and tailoring the curriculum to the needs of each class, the Beahrs ELP prepares participants to be effective environmental stewards in their respective fields.

"The Beahrs ELP grew from an idea into an invaluable and globally unique program, preparing the next generation of environmental leaders for meeting the daunting challenge of literally making the work a better place. Each year I am floored by both the depth and breadth of the participants' training, intellect, passion, dedication and humor. We are all eternally grateful to our donors, especially the Beahrs family, for starting and continuing to support this incredible endeavor.” -Maximilian Auffhammer, the George M. Pardee, Jr. Family Chair in International Sustainable Development & Associate Dean in the Division of Social Sciences at the University of California, Berkeley

Participants receive an unparalleled cross-sectoral learning experience from an array of experts who are internationally recognized in their areas of study. Beahrs ELP instructors include award-winning Berkeley faculty from a multitude of disciplines across campus, in addition to industry specialists in fields such as urban development, communications and storytelling, and conflict resolution. Since 2000, 243 instructors from over 100 distinct fields of study have offered their expertise in the program.

Since its inception, the program has ensured that cutting-edge training in environmental resource science, policy, and leadership remains globally accessible. Since 2001, the Beahrs ELP has trained 702 mid-career environmental professionals from over 113 countries, providing more than half with vital scholarships that enable them to attend.


Utilizing the knowledge and skills acquired in the program, Beahrs ELP alumni continue to create significant environmental, societal, and economic changes around the world, applying their leadership skills that inform policy and practice in their communities. Alumni have gone on to found wildlife conservation programs in Vietnam, elementary school nutrition programs in Belarus, clean drinking water education and treatment programs in Kenya, and are working to improve food sustainability policies here in the United States.

"Since participating in the Beahrs ELP program I was able to successfully spearhead the passage of new legislation in Tennessee, which works to address food waste through encouraging food donation. I had never met with a member of a legislature before, let alone 30! I truly believe that the confidence I gained from participating in the Beahrs ELP positioned me to make the policy change sell to leadership, and to gain their confidence in me approaching various members of our state legislature to pass the proposed legislation." -Matt Taylor '19, Senior Policy Analyst, Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation

"The Beahrs ELP literally changed my life by broadening my horizons and offering me exposure to the incredible research environment in the university and especially within the Rausser College of Natural Resources. I will always be grateful to the ELP team for what they have done and continue to do every year to keep this unique program going, and to the program’s generous funders without whose support I would have never been able to make this journey." -Harshad Karandikar '16, PhD Candidate, Environmental Science, Policy & Management, UC Berkeley

For two decades, environmental champions from around the world have been brought together by the Beahrs ELP to advance knowledge and practice that will sustain our planet’s natural resources. The program began at a time when environmental issues such as climate change were considered a burgeoning—or even radical—field of study. The Beahrs ELP continues to evolve its programming in order to provide environmental professionals up-to-date and forward-thinking educational and networking opportunities that prepare them to help create a more sustainable, brighter tomorrow. Fiat Lux!