Jason Clay

Senior VP, Market Transformation


JASON CLAY is senior vice president for markets and executive director of the Markets Institute at WWF, which was created to identify and address emerging global issues, trends, and tools impacting conservation in more timely, cost-effective, and scalable ways. His career has ranged from working on a family farm to working for the US Department of Agriculture. He taught at Harvard and Yale and spent more than 35 years with human rights and environmental NGOs. In 1988, Clay founded Rainforest Marketing, set up a trading company within an NGO, helped Indigenous people access global markets, and launched Ben & Jerry’s Rainforest Crunch, plus more than 200 other products with sales of $100 million. From 1999 to 2003, he co-directed a consortium with WWF, the World Bank, UN FAO, and NACA to identify the most significant environmental and social impacts of shrimp aquaculture as well as practices to reduce them. From 2004 to 2012, he convened multi-stakeholder roundtables to create performance-based standards for commodities including salmon, soy, sugarcane, cotton, and beef. He has been a leader in WWF’s work on agriculture, aquaculture, livestock, and corporate engagement and launched the Market Transformation initiative in 2006. Clay leads WWF-US efforts to improve private sector supply chain management—e.g., ingredient sourcing, carbon emissions, water use, and effluent. In 2008, he created the Carbon and Commodities program to address supply chain GHG emissions. He has helped whole sectors improve their sustainability performance (e.g., the Global Salmon Initiative). Clay has authored 18 books and 400 articles and has given more than 1,000 invited presentations. He studied anthropology and agriculture at Harvard, the London School of Economics, and Cornell (PhD).