Director, Carbon Institute
John (“John-O”) Niles is Executive Director of The Carbon Institute, an organization that promotes innovative science, education and cooperation to measure and manage carbon, with a focus on supporting emerging academic carbon accounting programs. He is also a Visiting Scholar and Lecturer at the University of California San Diego, where he teaches the global carbon cycle, oceans and climate change, and international climate change policy. In 2013, he designed and ran the first advanced Terrestrial Carbon Accounting certificate, accredited by the University of California San Diego Extension. John-O is also a faculty with the Greenhouse Gas Management Institute and founding member of the Coalition on Paris Agreement Capacity Building.
From 2012 to 2014, John-O was the Director for WWF US’s Forest and Climate program. In this capacity he helped lead WWF US’s work on REDD+, United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change negotiations, capacity building, reference levels and multi-lateral engagement. John-O helped initiate technical work on a subnational reference level for Nepal’s Terai Arc landscape, a net historical carbon accounting framework that used ground measurements, satellite data, LiDAR data, and robust accounting to model forest carbon fluxes for 12 years on 4 million hectares. This reference level was used by the Government of Nepal to help gain acceptance into the Carbon Fund at the World Bank’s Forest and Carbon Partnership Facility, opening the door for Nepal to access potentially tens of millions of dollars in pay-for-performance conservation finance.
John-O is married with two children. He currently lives in Patagonia Argentina with his family, and enjoys hiking, soccer, and skiing.