Ben Packard serves as the Harriet Bullitt Endowed Executive Director of EarthLab at the University of Washington, a new institute working to accelerate and focus UW expertise to address large-scale environmental challenges, making a positive impact on people’s lives, and livelihoods. As the inaugural executive director, Ben is responsible for working strategically within and beyond the University to promote new learning and action to address environmental challenges by building relationships between the University and the public, private, and nonprofit sectors.
Before coming to EarthLab, Ben served as the Global Managing Director of Corporate Engagement at The Nature Conservancy (TNC) from 2013 to 2017. In this senior management role, Ben was accountable for TNC's overall corporate engagement strategy in service of the mission to conserve the lands and waters on which all life depends. Ben led a team that managed strategic relationships with leading companies to incorporate the value of nature into the core of business plans and decision-making. While at TNC, Ben was also Chair of TNC’s Business Council and on the Board of Directors for The Sustainability Consortium.
From 1998-2013 Ben worked at Starbucks Coffee Company, serving as vice president, Global Responsibility from 2008-2013. He was part of the original team at Starbucks that established the world-class sustainability strategy for the company. As VP, Ben helped develop and then oversaw Starbuck's business approach to ethical sourcing and environmental stewardship. Ben represented the company in global forums on sustainability and managed key NGO, academic, and industry relationships in support of Starbuck's responsible business programs. In this role, he was also accountable for the development of and content in the company’s annual Global Responsibility Report.
Ben graduated from Kenyon College with a BA in History (1989) and holds a Master of Business Administration and Certificate in Environmental Management from the University of Washington Foster School of Business (1998).
Ben currently serves on the IslandWood Board of Directors, the Board of Directors of Cascadia Consulting, and as an Advisor to the Net Impact Chapter at the University of Washington Foster School of Business. Ben is a Fellow of both the Environmental Leadership Program and the US-Japan Leadership Program.