Mark Tercek is president and CEO of The Nature Conservancy (TNC), the global conservation organization known for its intense focus on collaboration and getting things done for the benefit of people and nature. He is the author of the Washington Post and Publisher’s Weekly bestselling book Nature’s Fortune: How Business and Society Thrive by Investing in Nature.
Growing up as a city kid in Cleveland, Mark was a late-bloomer to conservation. It was becoming a parent that sparked his passion for nature. “I want to be able to look my kids in the eye,” he says, “and tell them I did all I could to leave the world a better place.”
A former managing director and Partner for Goldman Sachs, where he spent 24 years, Mark brings deep business experience to his role leading The Nature Conservancy. He is a champion of the idea of natural capital — valuing nature for its own sake as well as for the services it provides for people, such as clean air and water, productive soils and a stable climate.
During his time at Goldman Sachs, Mark managed several of the firm’s key units, including Corporate Finance, Real Estate Investment Banking, Equity Capital Markets and Pine Street, the firm’s leadership development program. In 2005, after two decades as an investment banker, Mark was tapped to develop the firm’s environmental strategy and to lead its Environmental Markets Group.
Inspired by the opportunity to help businesses, governments and environmental organizations work together in new, innovative ways, Mark left Goldman Sachs in 2008 to head up The Nature Conservancy.
In 2012, Mark was appointed by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo to serve on the New York State 2100 Commission, which was created in the wake of Superstorm Sandy to advise the governor and the state on how to make the state’s infrastructure more resilient to future storms. In 2016, Mark was appointed by President Barack Obama to the president’s Advisory Committee for Trade Policy and Negotiations.
Mark is a member of several boards and councils, including Resources for the Future, the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions, Harvard Business School’s Social Enterprise Initiative, the China Council for International Cooperation on Environment and Development (CCICED), the Rockefeller Foundation Council on Planetary Health and the Science for Nature and People Partnership (SNAPP), TNC’s science joint venture with the Wildlife Conservation Society and the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (NCEAS) at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Mark serves on the Williams College Board of Trustees and was on the finance faculty of New York University’s Stern School of Business until 2008.
Drawing on his professional background in the financial sector, Mark also leads TNC’s impact capital initiative and serves as board chair of NatureVest.
Mark earned an M.B.A. from Harvard in 1984 and a B.A. from Williams College in 1979.
Updated: November 28, 2017