Helen Clarkson

Director, Forum for the Future US


Twitter: @hl_clarkson

I lead Forum’s work in the US, working with businesses on sustainable business strategy. I also work on futures projects such as The Future Climate for Development and Fit for the Future.

I joined Forum in 2007 from Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) where I’d been for six years, first working in the field in places like Nigeria, Sudan, Pakistan and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), and then in the UK office. Originally I trained as an accountant with Deloitte which was a great grounding in business and enabled me to get the job I wanted in the international aid field.

While working in DRC I really started to see the connections between people’s health, their economic circumstances and the environment: there was such a direct link between whether the rain was good, how good the crops were, and the physical and mental health of women and children. When I came back to the UK I wanted to explore that further so while working in the UK office of MSF as Head of Finance I studied for an MSc in the evenings in Business Strategy, Politics and the Environment. As I completed that I moved to Forum to be a Deputy Director, and after three years in that position, I was lucky enough to get the job to set up the Forum office in New York.

My dream project? Anything that links the environment to health.

What floats my boat outside work? A bacon sandwich cooked on a camp stove, outside a tent, after a night’s camping and before a day’s hiking. Preferably hiking up something and then seeing a view.