Kirk Talbott has worked in the environmental law and policy field for over 35 years with an emphasis on good governance, natural resources management and property rights.

After graduating from Yale and then earning a J.D. and MSFS from Georgetown University, Kirk joined the D.C. Bar. He began his career working on property rights for the indigenous people of Bikini Atoll in the Marshall Islands and researching cultural knowledge of ecosystem management for the United Nations University. Talbott then spent a decade at the World Resources Institute, initiating their field programs in Asia and starting a multi-donor, land and forest tenure program.  This led to his co-authoring the book “Balancing Acts, Community Based Forest Management and National Law in Asia and the Pacific” and multiple training courses in the field.  Kirk then held senior positions with a range of environment and development organizations including The Nature Conservancy, Conservation International and five years leading a satellite radio non profit, First Voice International.  First Voice provided distance learning and vital information flow to underserved communities across Africa and much of Asia and the Pacific.

More recently, Kirk has been a Senior Advisor for good governance to the World Bank and African governments’ Partnership for Skills in Applied Sciences, Engineering and Technology (PASET) and to the Rights and Resources Initiative (RRI).  He worked closely with the Omidyar Network’s Director of Property RIghts on policy analysis and served for two years as the Executive Coach for the new Tenure Facility’s Executive Director.

As a Scholar-in Residence and Visiting Scholar at the Environmental Law Institute (ELI) since 2010, Kirk has concentrated on natural resource management, property rights and environmental security in Burma/Myanmar and Southeast Asia.  He currently supports ELI’s Director of International Programs with a multi-year initiative in Environmental Peacebuilding.  At ELI, Kirk has published several articles and conducted research and training in land tenure and natural resource governance, for example with Parliamentarians from Myanmar through funding by the National Endowment for Democracy and the International Republican Institute.

Kirk is currently teaching, mentoring in good governance and volunteering.