Mrs. Dianne Dillon-Ridgley

Mrs. Dianne Dillon bio

Executive Director, Women’s Network for a Sustainable Future

In the last forty years Environmentalist and Human Rights Activist, DIANNE DILLON-RIDGLEY, has been at the forefront of society's shift from an industrial one to one focused on sustainability. Appointed by three US Presidents across three Administrations, she has served on twenty-three US Delegations at the UN and other global meetings. By appointment of the White House she attended the1992 Rio Earth Summit, the 1997 General Assembly Special Session and the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development in South Africa, making her the only person to serve on all three US delegations. From 1997 to 2014 she was a director on the board of Interface, Inc., the world's largest manufacturer of modular carpet tiles and a global leader in sustainable design. She was also a non-executive director for and chair of the Green Mountain Energy Company Environmental committee for six years before it was bought by NRG. For more than a dozen years she was a trustee at CIEL (the Center for International Environmental Law) including being the first female or person of color to chair the board.


Currently CEO of WNSF (the Women's Network for a Sustainable Future), she is also on the board of the National Wildlife Federation ( four million members), former four time president of Population Connection, was the first female Chair of the River Network board, and was CEO of WEDO during the transition after founder, former Congresswoman Bella Abzug passed away in 1998. For over a decade Dianne represented the World YWCA (Geneva, Switzerland) at UN Headquarters in New York, chairing the UN Millennium NGO-DPI Summit in 2000, which first introduced the Millennium Development Goals. She continues on the board of ISF (the Integrated Strategies Forum) and in 1999 was appointed to the Oxford University Commission on Sustainable Production and Consumption. She spent ten years as chair of the U.S. Partnership-Education for Sustainable Development and was recently elected to the board of the World Parliament of Religions, including their Climate Task Force.


She continues to serve on the Auburn University School of Human Sciences Board and the University of Iowa Tippie School of Business Advisory Board. In 2013 Dianne was elected to the Green Mountain College Board of Trustees, where earlier they bestowed an Honorary Doctor of Laws degree when she was commencement speaker. She helped to found "The 100 Grannies for a Livable Future" and Plains Justice, an environmental law center for the Great Plains region committed to ending the use of coal and promoting renewable energy adoption. In 2017 Illinois Institute of Technology awarded Dianne by vote of the Faculty Senate and Board of Trustees an Honorary Doctorate of Science for Innovation in Sustainable Design.


On the 28th of this month the Women's E-News in New York will honor Dillon-Ridgley as a Pioneering Woman in Sustainability with the Inaugural "PAVE THE WAY" Award. She is committed to establishing the "Age of Sustainability", facilitating the changes needed in our societal architecture, democratizing institutions, expanding human rights for gender, ability/access issues and racial equity/equality, breaking down barriers and opening minds as well as doors-creating the new language and frames to catalyze society.

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