Joe Furia, Executive Director

Joe Furia brings expertise in executive leadership, conservation policy, environmental and natural resources law, strategic planning, and business development to his role as Executive Director at World Forestry Center. 

Joe joined World Forestry Center in September 2018. In his first six months at the organization, he led the development of a new strategic plan with input from the organization’s board, staff, and key stakeholders. The new plan, unanimously approved by the Board of Directors in March 2019, outlines a bold vision for the 53-year-old Portland-based nonprofit.

At the beginning of 2019, Oregon Governor Kate Brown signed an executive order creating the Governor’s Council on Wildfire Response. Joe was selected to chair the council’s Mitigation Committee. The council is tasked with evaluating the state’s current model for wildfire prevention, preparedness, and response and recommending changes based on those findings.

Prior to World Forestry Center, Joe worked as General Counsel and Policy Director for The Freshwater Trust, the largest restoration-focused organization in the Pacific Northwest. There he led a four-person team and outside counsel on all legal matters including contracts, fundraising, litigation defense, intellectual property, and employment. He also directed policy efforts on natural resources, water quality, and water quantity issues both regionally and nationally.

In addition to his nonprofit experience, Joe was an attorney at K&L Gates and Landye, Bennett, Bluemstein LLP, counseling clients on a variety of environmental and natural resources issues. Prior to that, he gained experience in marketing, sales, and business development through five years at a silicon-valley technology firm and hybrid-electric vehicle company.

He earned an undergraduate degree in Political Science and International Relations from Yale and his J.D. in Environmental and Natural Resources Law from Lewis & Clark.