Stephen D’Esposito is President of RESOLVE. RESOLVE builds strong, enduring solutions to environmental, social, and health challenges, helping community, business, government, and NGO leaders get results and create lasting relationships through collaboration. During Steve’s tenure, RESOLVE has expanded its international program; launched a series of solutions programs on energy, food, sustainable development, natural resource conflicts, and species and habitat protection; and strengthened program partnerships with leading companies and civil society organizations.
Prior to RESOLVE, Steve was President and CEO of EARTHWORKS, founded by former U.S. Secretary of the Interior Stuart L. Udall. Steve built EARTHWORKS into the leading independent NGO on mining, oil and gas issues, enhancing its reputation at the policy level and among leading companies, as well as bolstering its capacity as a technical resource to community groups. Steve helped engineer a rare breakthrough on US mining policy, which led to the enactment of modern environmental and community safeguards to address shortcomings in the Mining Law of 1872. He also led responsible sourcing initiatives with Tiffany & Co., Newmont, Wal-Mart and others.
At Greenpeace USA, in roles ranging from Field Director to Deputy Executive Director, Steve built a nationally respected field program and led the integration of previously independent Greenpeace corporations across the United States into a unified Greenpeace organization. At Greenpeace International in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, Steve served as Deputy Director and then head of the Executive Committee of Greenpeace International, where he helped strengthen a number of national offices and programs. He worked to integrate corporate engagement strategies into advocacy campaigns. During his tenure as head of the Executive Committee, Steve was a key decision-maker on the Brent Spar campaign, which many think led to a shift in corporate strategy with regard to stakeholder engagement. Steve began his career with the New York Public Interest Research Group (NYPIRG), where he worked on environmental, energy and consumer issues and built the organization’s field program. Steve received a bachelor’s degree in political science from Tulane University in New Orleans in 1983.
Steve currently chairs the World Economic Forum Council on responsible natural resource development; serves on the boards of the Center for Science in Public Participation and Resource Media; and serves on the steering committees for the Responsible Mineral Development Initiative (of the World Economic Forum) and the Responsible Minerals Sector Initiative at Simon Fraser University. As a community volunteer, Steve designed and led a volunteer recycling program that spread across Washington, D.C. and eventually sparked passage of the city’s first recycling legislation.
Steve is in demand as a public speaker on environment and business, sustainability, policy, corporate social responsibility, strategic stakeholder engagement, and other issues (http://www.resolv.org/speakers-bureau).
Bachelor of Science, Political Science.
Tulane University, New Orleans, LA. 1982
Certificate of Art Program.
Corcoran School of Art, Washington DC
Public Speaking (Recent Selected Examples)
Green: Sustainability, Significance and Style Fashion, New York, NY (December 6, 2008).
Explored the need for permanence on “green” issues at a Conference hosted by the Graduate Center at the City University of New York. Presented speech on ethical sourcing in fashion.
2010 ACR EPP / USIECR Conference, Tucson, AZ (May 25-27, 2010).
Presentation on environmental dispute resolution and the importance of collaborative leadership at The Environment and Public Policy (EPP) Section of the Association for Conflict Resolutions annual conference.
SWU Global Sustainability Symposium and Music and Arts Festival, Sao Paolo, Brazil (October 9-11, 2010).
Remarks in person and on live television offering a formula for tangible consumer actions and movement to a new phase of collaboration and partnership.
National Academy of Sciences Committee Meeting to Discuss Meeting our Nation’s Natural Resource Needs: Balancing Risks and Rewards, Washington, DC (October 19, 2010).
Presented “Paradigm Shift—A Survey of Key Natural Resource Challenges and the Need for Collaborative Leadership”
EICC-GeSI Tin and Tantalum Supply Chain Workshop, Washington, DC (November 16, 2010).
Offered a foundation for cross-sector programs designed to respond to the challenge presented by “conflict metals.”
113th National Western Mining Conference, Denver, CO (February 27, 2011).
Opening plenary remarks on sustainability challenges in the natural resource sector and the need for collaborative leadership.
Beedie School of Business, Simon Fraser University, Simon Fraser University, Cranbrooke, B.C., (April 4, 2011).
Sustainability and Right v Right Conundrums for Policy Leaders –Remarks and workshop focused on trends in sustainable development, and case studies in right v. right leadership challenges for corporate leaders.
2011 Canadian Coal Conference, Paradigm Shift—A Survey of Key Natural Resource and Sustainability Challenges and the Business Case for Collaborative Leadership, Vancouver, B.C.
(September 26, 2011). Plenary remarks at Canada’s major coal industry conference.
Stakeholder Engagement & Sustainability: Trends, Opportunities and new Tools, Fairmont, New Mexico, (February 14, 2012)
Plenary remarks to sustainability leaders at BHP-Billiton global conference.
Ethical Corp, Social Environmental Risk Conference, London, (March 21, 2012)
Stakeholder Engagement, Conflict Resolution Risk
Anglo American Advanced Social Management Program/University of Cambridge Program for Sustainability Leadership, Stellenbosch, South Africa, (April 22, 2012)
Plenary Remarks, GEMM 20/20: Global Exploration, Mining and Minerals in 2020 – Responsibility and Sustainability Challenges and Opportunities, Vancouver, B.C, (April 16, 2012)
IFC Summit, Washington, DC (June 19, 2013)
Rio Tinto Stakeholder Engagement Academy Dinner, Salt Lake City, Utah (May 1, 2013)
Fee/Honorarium Policy for Public Speaking for Stephen D’Esposito
For current partners and clients, when the topic is relevant to RESOLVE’s mission and current program focus, RESOLVE will request an honorarium or fee for speaking engagements due to the time required at the event, travel and preparation. In some situations, particularly for non-profits, RESOLVE will waive this fee but can only do this on one or two occasions annually.
We will request a higher fee for larger events; those with non-partner organizations, companies and associations; and/or when the topic requires special preparation.
Selected Project Experience
Intel Conflict Free Supply Chain Pilot (Ongoing). Work with Intel, other electronics companies and other stakeholders to design a first-ever series of “conflict free” supply pilots for gold sourced into electronics and other products. RESOLVE is leading design and testing of the pilots (e.g. conceptualization, stakeholder outreach, definitions and standards, transparency and system development) in collaboration with key stakeholders.
Assessment of Standards and Certification Systems (2009 – present). Facilitating a collaborative assessment to determine the conditions under which standards and certification systems are effective tools for delivering social and environmental sustainability. The goals of the assessment are to enhance overall understanding of standards and certification systems; provide insights for more strategic use of these systems in promoting sustainability; and prompt action for more successful deployment of these systems to achieve greater sustainability outcomes. Project activities are directed by a steering committee representing international industry, academia, certification organizations, and other NGOs, and funded by the Packard Foundation, the Walton Family Foundation, and MARS, Inc.
Stakeholder Panel on In-region Sourcing (2010 – present). Strategic support to group of end use companies, NGOs, and government agencies providing recommendations on supply chain tracing and certification schemes related to conflict minerals in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the surrounding Great Lakes Region of Africa.
Stakeholder Engagement/Conflict Resolution Training, Dundee Precious Metals (2009-present). Strategic support and on principles and practices of effective community engagement and conflict prevention and resolution to extractive sector companies.
Revisioning the Communities and Small-scale Mining (CASM) Initiative (2010 – present). Strategic assessment, visioning meetings, options development, and business plan to support planning and organization of a revitalized CASM program, governance system, and institutional structure. CASM is currently housed with the World Bank. International stakeholders and project participants include civil society, small-scale mining governments, donor governments, mining companies, and end-use companies/OEMs.
Conflict Management and Stakeholder Engagement Training (2010 – present). Developing materials and delivering training to two multinational companies on principles and practices of effective community engagement and conflict prevention and resolution.
Alaska Clean Energy Campaign Strategic Assessment and Transition Support (January 2010-May 2010). Strategic assessment of the structure, decision making, and capacity of the group—and potential to strengthen stakeholder engagement. Subsequently, assisted the members in efforts to implement changes based on the assessment, including coaching and strategy sessions.
EICC-GeSI Electronics Supply Chain Transparency Project (2009 – 2010). Collaborative research project on the supply chain for electronics products containing tin, tantalum, and cobalt to 1) create a picture of the electronics supply chain for these metals; 2) assess suppliers’ use of codes of conduct addressing social, environmental, health, and labor issues; and 3) identify the challenges of collecting this data and consider ways to enhance and maintain transparency of the supply chain. To inform this work, RESOLVE convened a Stakeholder Advisory Group of diverse organizations including electronics companies, international NGOs, mining companies, investors, and trade associations. This report, Tracing a Path Forward: A Study of the Challenges of the Supply Chain for Target Metals Used in Electronics, was commissioned by the Global e-Sustainability Initiative (GeSI) and the Electronics Industry Citizenship Coalition (EICC).
Madison Dialogue (2007-current). Conceptualized, designed and launched the Madison Dialogue (www.madisondialogue.org) as an independent forum to encourage discussion, collaboration on sustainable development solutions in the mining and jewelry sectors, including all stakeholder groups.
Ethical Jewelry Summit (2007). Lead organizer of this Summit co-sponsored by BHP-Billiton, Rio Tinto, Tiffany & Co., the World Bank and EARTHWORKS. Brought together leaders from all sectors seeking to identify and promote responsible mining, processing, manufacturing in the sector and to create a commonality between the myriad of projects, standards-development initiatives and processes that are underway.
Framework for Responsible Mining (2005). With Tiffany & Co., sponsored a team of independent experts to draft and publish the Framework for Responsible Mining (www.frameworkforresponsiblemining.org).
Initiative for Responsible Mining Assurance (IRMA) (2006-current). Played a lead role in guiding and leading an effort by leaders in the mining, NGO and jewelry sectors to recognize social and environmental standards and develop mechanisms to recognize compliance with these standards in the marketplace (www.responsiblemining.net).
Selected Other Activities
- Board Member, Diamond Development Initiative, 2009 and Ongoing
- Advisory Board Member, Kinross Professorship and Chair Department of Mining Engineering, Queens University, Kingston, Canada, 2007 to Present
- Advisory Panel Member, Newmont Mining Company Community Relations Review, 2007 to Present
- Board Member, Center for Science in Public Participation, 1999 to Present
- Board Member and Executive Committee, Great Basin Resource Watch, 2006 to 2007
- Steering Committee, Western Mining Citizens Network, 1997-2000
- Board Member, Greenpeace Italy, Rome, Italy, 1995-1996
- Advisory Board, GreenCorps, Philadelphia, PA, 1992 to 1994
- Founder/Board Member, Urban Earth, Washington D.C., 1990 to 1993
- Founder/Chairperson, Citizens Coalition for Recycling, Washington D.C., 1988 to 1991
- Ex-Officio Board Member, New York Public Interest Research Group, New York, N.Y., 1983-1984
- Board Member, New York Heating Oil Cooperative (Fuel Buyers Group), New York, N.Y., 1985 to 1986