Elizabeth W. Thorndike
Member of the NYSERDA Board of Directors
Ms. Thorndike founded the Center for Environmental Information, Inc. (CEI), in Rochester, New York, and served as executive director and then president of CEI from its establishment in 1974 until 1992, when she left to undertake full-time graduate study at Cornell. She continues as a member of the Board of Directors.
The Center is a nonprofit, educational organization providing information and communication services, publications, and educational programs to advance public understanding of environmental issues, link scientists, educators, decision makers and the public, and promote informed action based on the free exchange of information and ideas.
Ms. Thorndike established E-Collaborative in 1996. This consultancy specializes in collaborative environmental problem solving, bringing concerned/affected parties together early, to help avoid or minimize environmental disputes and assist resolution of environment/energy issues.
In 1997, Ms. Thorndike was nominated by Governor Pataki and confirmed by the New York State Senate as a member of the Authority, filling the statutorily designated environment seat. She was renominated and reconfirmed in 1999 for a full six-year term to 2005. She serves as chair of the Waste Facilities Management Committee.
Previous public service appointments have included 15 1/2 years as a Commissioner of the New York State Adirondack Park Agency from 1980-1995, where she chaired the Agency's Park Policy and Planning Committee with oversight for local government planning services, state land (Forest Preserve) matters, official zoning map amendments and development of policy for the public and private lands in the Adirondack Park. From 1985-1994 Ms. Thorndike was a member of Governor Mario Cuomo's bi-partisan Environmental Advisory Board.
Ms. Thorndike is a Visiting Lecturer in the Department of City and Regional Planning at Cornell University, a member of the Advisory Council for the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Cornell, a member of the Honorary Board of the Girl Scouts of Genesee Valley, and a Trustee and chair of the Conservation Committee of the Association for the Protection of the Adirondacks.
She attended Smith College, has degrees from Stanford and Harvard and a Ph.D. from Cornell with a concentration in Natural Resource Policy and Planning.
Ms. Thorndike is married to Edward H. Thorndike, professor of physics, University of Rochester, and has three children and four grandchildren.
Last Updated: 10/15/2012