Environmental Speakers

Rob Caughlin

Rob CaughlinRob Caughlan’s speeches are based upon 40 years of experience as a political advisor, communications professional, and environmental activist – rallying citizens to action and consulting in the halls of power. He is a veteran of more than 350 environmental speeches, presentations, and guest lectures. A powerful and entertaining speaker, he alternates between inspiring and illuminating accounts of environmental problems and successes and funny often poignant stories about the all too human actors on all sides.

Caughlan was a member of the White House staff under President Carter, and he also served as Special Assistant to the head of the Environmental Protection Agency. He was an EPA representative to the interagency Task Force which prepared the Global 2000 Report to the President, the federal government’s first long range analysis of the convergence of economic, environmental and social trends.

Other advisory and staff roles in the halls of power have included stints working for three U.S. Senators (Feinstein, Cranston, and Rockefeller). He was a staffer for the late Congressman Leo Ryan, who played a key role in investigating the Jim Jones Peoples Temple cult in Guyana, South America. Ryan was assassinated when he was caught up the mass murder/suicide of hundreds of Americans in the Jonestown tragedy. 

As a communications professional, he first conceived and then assembled the resources to produce a major ten-hour television series for Turner Broadcasting on global environmental issues entitled Voice of the Planet. The series starred William Shatner and Faye Dunaway.

He traveled to Egypt to produce, write and edit Future in the Cradle, an award winning film about population, and he produced the documentary Solar Energy: The Great Adventure, which won a Golden Eagle Award.

Caughlan also directed and produced a documentary about the life of Pete McCloskey, co-founder of the first Earth Day. Leading from the Front was narrated by Academy Award winner Paul Newman and aired on 180 PBS television stations around the country.

As an activist, he was the first President of the Surfrider Foundation. Under his leadership, Surfrider grew from 200 members to 25,000 members, and it won the second largest clean water enforcement lawsuit in the nation's history. The influential conservation organization Friends of the River was founded in his living room. To marshal additional clout for his activist projects, he often enlisted Hollywood notables, including Robert Redford, Paul Newman, and William Shatner.

Stories about Caughlan’s work have appeared in publications ranging from Time, Newsweek, The New York Times, and The Los Angeles Times to People Magazine and The National Enquirer, and he has appeared on more than 125 radio and television news, feature, and talk programs. He has been featured on the national television networks' nightly news broadcasts, including Peter Jennings, Dan Rather and Walter Cronkite. National Geographic, Businessweek, and Vanity Fair have also done stories.

Caughlan speaks on how everyone can make a difference, the most successful methods of green activism, the many forms of political and civic engagement, the critical importance of ocean, coastal, river and lake protection and conservation, green and social marketing, how to be an effective communicator, and the techniques of media relations. He also offers presentations focusing on population stabilization, protecting endangered species and wildlife habitat, environmental video and TV production, and the history of the American environmental movement.

A video profile and excerpts from several talks, audio interviews, an article, and testimonials about his speaking are available here.

To discuss Rob Caughlan as a possible speaker, email Dennis Church at ecoiq@ecoiq.com.

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