2019 Keynote Speaker Bios – Custer, WI
Bethany McLean is a contributing editor at Vanity Fair.
Previously, she was an editor-at-large at Fortune Magazine, where her 2001 piece, “Is Enron Overpriced?” was one of the first skeptical articles about Enron. After Enron collapsed into bankruptcy, she co-authored The Smartest Guys in the Room: The Amazing Rise and Scandalous Fall of Enron with her Fortune colleague, Peter Elkind. A documentary based on the book was nominated for an Academy Award in 2006.
In 2008, McLean joined Vanity Fair as a contributing editor. In 2010, her book All the Devils are Here: The Hidden History of the Financial Crisis, which she co-authored with New York Times columnist, Joe Nocera, was published. In 2015, Columbia Global Reports published her mini book Shaky Ground: The Strange Saga of the US Mortgage Giants, and in the fall of 2018, CGR published Saudi America: The Truth About Fracking and How It’s Changing the World.
Her 2016 Vanity Fair story on disgraced pharmaceutical company Valeant was used as the basis for Netflix’s Dirty Money episode about the drugmaker.
She is also a columnist for Yahoo Finance and a contributor to CNBC.
McLean graduated from Williams College in 1992 with a double major in math and English and from 1992 to 1995 she worked as an investment banking analyst at Goldman Sachs.
Rosa Alicia Clemente is an organizer, political commentator, and independent journalist. An Afro-Puerto Rican born and raised in the Bronx, NY she has dedicated her life to organizing, scholarship, and activism. From Cornell to prisons, Rosa is one of her generation’s leading scholars on the issues of Afro-Latinx identity. Rosa is the president and founder of Know Thy Self Productions, which has produced seven major community activism tours and consults on issues such as hip-hop feminism, media justice, voter engagement among youth of color, third party politics, United States political prisoners, and the right of Puerto Rico to become an independent nation, free of United States colonial domination. She is a frequent guest on television, radio, and online media, as her opinions on critical current events are widely sought after. Her groundbreaking article, “Who is Black?,” published in 2001, was the catalyst for many discussions regarding Black political and cultural identity in the Latinx community. She is creator of PR (Puerto Rico) On the Map, an independent, unapologetic, Afro-Latinx centered media collective founded in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria. She is currently completing her Ph.D. at the W.E.B. DuBois Center at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. Rosa was the first ever Afro-Latina women to run for Vice-President of the United States in 2008 on the Green Party ticket. She and her running mate, Cynthia McKinney, were, to this date, the only women of color ticket in American history.
On January 8th, 2018, Rosa and six other women of color organizers joined actresses from Hollywood as part of the Times Up initiative and the #MeToo movement. Rosa was the guest of Oscar winner Susan Sarandon and stated that evening, “We are human beings who deserve the right to dignity, whether we are working on a Hollywood set, or working at Wal-Mart, whether we’re a mother in the South Bronx, or a mother in Beverly Hills. So we are here not only to walk the red carpet, we are here to work the red carpet and give voice to the many millions of women who are often marginalized.”
Naomi Oreskes, Ph.D. is the author of The Scientific Consensus on Climate Change, which laid to rest the idea that there was significant disagreement in the scientific community about the reality of global warming and its human causes.
Since its publication, the essay has been widely cited by scientific and political leaders – including Sir David King, science advisor to Tony Blair – in The New Yorker, USA Today, National Geographic, and Parade, in the Royal Society’s publication, A Guide to Facts and Fictions About Climate Change, and, most notably, in Al Gore’s film, An Inconvenient Truth. In an interview on NPR, the former Vice President told Terry Gross that, when he goes on the road, the single item that provokes the most discussion is his analysis of this study.
Professor Oreskes teaches the History of Science and Affiliated Professor of Earth and Planetary Sciences at Harvard University. She recently arrived at Harvard after spending 15 years as Professor of History and Science Studies at the University of California, San Diego, and Adjunct Professor of Geosciences at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography. Professor Oreskes’s research focuses on the earth and environmental sciences, with a particular interest in understanding scientific consensus and dissent. She has held grants from the National Science Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the American Philosophical Society, and is listed in Who’s Who in America and Who’s Who in Science and Engineering. Her op-ed pieces have appeared in The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, The Times (London), Nature, Science, The New Statesman, Frankfurter Allgemeine, and elsewhere.
Professor Oreskes’s books include The Rejection of Continental Drift: Theory and Method in American Earth Science, Science Without Laws: Model Systems, Cases, Exemplary Narratives, and Plate Tectonics: An Insider’s History of the Modern Theory of the Earth, which was cited by Library Journal as one of the best science and technology books of 2002, and by Choice as an outstanding academic title of 2003. Her latest book is Merchants of Doubt: How a Handful of Scientists Obscured the Truth on Issues from Tobacco Smoke to Global Warming, co-written with Erik M. Conway, was shortlisted for the Los Angeles Time Book Prize and received the 2011 Watson-David Prize from the History of Science Society.
Professor Oreskes was recently featured in the New York Times, which called her “a lightning rod in a changing climate.” Climate researchers Benjamin D. Santer and John Abraham say, “her courage and persistence in communicating climate science to the wider public have made her a living legend among her colleagues.” Her writing on climate change can also be found in the introduction of Pope Francis’s new book Encyclical on Climate Change and Inequality, out in August 2015.
Curt Meine is a conservation biologist, environmental historian, and writer. He serves as Senior Fellow with the Aldo Leopold Foundation in Baraboo, Wisconsin and with the Chicago-based Center for Humans and Nature. He is a Research Associate with the International Crane Foundation, also located in Baraboo, and Associate Adjunct Professor in the University of Wisconsin-Madison Department of Forest and Wildlife Ecology. Over the last three decades, he has worked at the intersection of biodiversity conservation, agriculture, water, climate change, and community resilience. In all his work, he has brought together science, ethics, advocacy, and the arts to advance environmental sustainability on the ground.
Meine received his B.A. in English and History from DePaul University in Chicago and his M.S. and Ph.D. in Land Resources from the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. His work has included conservation projects across North America, Europe, and East Asia, with a wide array of organizations, agencies, universities, and businesses.
At home in Sauk County, Wisconsin, he devotes himself to community-based land conservation, ecological restoration, and sustainable agriculture projects, and is a founding member of the Sauk Prairie Conservation Alliance. He has been recognized with many awards, including the Bay and Paul Foundation’s Biodiversity Leadership Award and the Quivira Coalition’s Outstanding Leadership Award, and in 2018 was named a Fellow of the Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts and Letters.
Meine has written and edited a number of books on conservation and environmental history, including Aldo Leopold: His Life and Work (reissued in a new edition in 2010); Correction Lines: Essays on Land, Leopold, and Conservation (2004); the Library of America volume Aldo Leopold: A Sand County Almanac and Other Writings on Conservation and Ecology (2013); and The Driftless Reader (2017). Meine also appeared as narrator and on-screen guide of the Emmy Award-winning documentary film Green Fire: Aldo Leopold and a Land Ethic for Our Time (2011), which has appeared more than 1,000 times of PBS stations around the country.