Dianne Dillon-Ridgley was recently elected to our Board of Trustees and serves on our Climate Action Task Force. She is committed to establishing the "Age of Sustainability" facilitating the changes needed in our social architecture, democratizing institutions, expanding human rights for gender, ability and racial equity, breaking down barriers and opening minds and doors-creating new language and frames to catalyze society. She is currently the Executive Director of the Women's Network for a Sustainable Future.
Dianne was born into a family with a legacy of civic and social activism dating back to the period of Reconstruction in the U.S. and is committed to challenging the barriers of Race, Gender, Human Rights, Economic Disparity and embracing sustainability in all its dimensions and parameters domestically and internationally. Originally from Dallas, she has advised and served on over twenty-three U.S. delegations at the UN and International forums spanning the tenure of three U.S. Presidents. By appointment of the White House she attended the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio, followed by the 1997 UN General Assembly Special Session and the World Summit on Sustainable Development, 2002, making her the only person to serve on all three US delegations. For over a decade Dianne represented the World YWCA (Geneva, Switzerland) at UN Headquarters in New York, chairing the Millennium NGO-DPI Summit in 2000, which first introduced the Millennium Development Goals. In 1999 she was appointed to the Oxford University Commission on Sustainable Consumption. She spent ten years as chair of the U.S. Partnership-Education for Sustainable Development.
She is a current or past trustee or staff member of an array of organizations that are committed to sustainability, including Interface, Inc. (the world's largest manufacturer of modular carpet tiles and global leader of sustainable design), Green Mountain Energy, the Center for International Environmental Law, The National Wildlife Federation, Population Connection, The River Network, the Women's Environment and Development Organization, the Association of Iowa Human Rights Agencies, the Auburn University School of Human Sciences, and the University of Iowa Tippie School of Business Management. She also helped to found "the 100 Grannies for a Livable Future" and Plains Justice, an environmental law center for the Great Plains region focused on ending the use of coal and promoting renewable energy adoption.
Dianne lives in Iowa City, Iowa, and has two adult children, Karima, who graduated from Harvard and Dasal, who graduated from Morehouse in Atlanta.
"I really believe, as humans, we are hard-wired to be in nature. Our buildings need to be beautiful and functional in ways that make us feel like we are in Nature, whether we are in the heart of Iowa or the heart of Manhattan" Dillon-Ridgley says.
"Again and again through her work, Dianne has demonstrated-and embodied-the linkages between the environment, human rights, and social justice that underlie CIEL's own mission," said CIEL President, Carroll Muffett. "We are privileged to be a small part of her tremendous legacy."
In the 2007 book, "Women In Green" for which she wrote the forward: PAUL HAWKEN said: "We have a conception of leadership in the world that is about charismatic male vertebrates and that's our template. Then we project that onto women, saying, 'she's great, but he's the leader.' Dianne does so much, yet one might not know her name. She doesn't have that hierarchical role, but she is a REAL leader."