A lawyer and economist by training, Bill Roberts serves as chairman of the League of Conservation Voters, which calls itself “the political voice of the national environmental movement and the only organization devoted full-time to shaping a pro-environment Congress and White House.” Founded in 1969 by veteran environmentalist David Brower, LCV works to defeat what it calls “anti-environment” candidates running for political office; conversely, it supports those candidates who it believes are contributing to the welfare of the environment. LCV defines itself as a nonpartisan organization and “the political voice of the national environmental movement.” In reality, LCV serves as a politicized advocacy and lobbying group that consistently, and almost exclusively, condemns conservative politicians while lauding their leftwing counterparts.
Since the 9/11 attacks, Roberts has sought to redirect America’s attention away from the war on terror, and toward what he perceives as the even more important battle to save the environment. “One thing the [9/11] attack did not do,” Roberts said, “was alter the persistent importance of environmental issues to people and the planet. . . . Global warming, toxic pollution, lost biodiversity, and a long list of other environmental threats did not go away on Sept. 11 . . . it is really incumbent on the environmental community to make sure that these critical issues are not ignored, or worse, aggravated by policies emerging from our nation’s response.”
In addition to his LCV duties, since 1998 Roberts has been the executive director of the Beldon Fund, an environmental grant-making organization based in New York City. Prior to that, he worked for the Environmental Defense Fund as Director of Strategic Communications and as Legislative Director. Roberts earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in economics from Yale University, and thereafter his law degree from the University of Chicago.