Dr. Lucas Joppa leads sustainability at Microsoft, as the company’s first Chief Environmental Officer. In this role, he works to advance Microsoft’s core commitment to sustainability through ongoing technology innovation, program development, policy advancement, and global operational excellence. With a combined background in both environmental science and data science, Lucas is committed to using the power of advanced technology to help transform how society monitors, models, and ultimately manages Earth’s natural resources. He founded Microsoft’s AI for Earth program in 2017—a five-year, $50 million cross-company effort dedicated to delivering technology-enabled solutions to global environmental challenges.
With a PhD in Ecology from Duke University and extensive publication in leading academic journals, such as Science and Nature, Dr. Joppa is a uniquely accredited voice for sustainability in the tech industry. In addition to formerly serving on the Federal Advisory Committee for the Sustained U.S. National Climate Assessment, Lucas is an Associate Editor for the Ecological Society of America’s EcoSphere journal and serves on the boards of leading scientific organizations, such as NatureServe and the National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center (SESYNC), as well as the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (NCEAS) Director’s Council at UC Santa Barbara.
Prior to his current role, Lucas was Microsoft’s Chief Environmental Scientist and led research programs at the intersection of environmental and computer sciences in Microsoft Research, the company’s blue-sky research division. He remains an active scientist and one of Microsoft’s foremost AI thought leaders, speaking frequently on issues related to Artificial Intelligence, environmental science, and sustainability. Along with his PhD, Lucas holds a BS in Wildlife Ecology from the University of Wisconsin and is a former Peace Corps volunteer to Malawi.