Lifelong outdoorsman and humanitarian dies in hiking accident
Theodore (Ted) McRoberts Smith.
It was with great sadness that we learned of the loss of a member of the Earthjustice family. Ted Smith, a longtime conservationist and member of our Board of Trustees, died Labor Day weekend after falling during a hike near Mission Falls in Montana. Ted became an Earthjustice board member in November 2008 and recently was selected to serve as vice chair.
Earthjustice Board Chair Peter Carson remembers Ted in this way:
Ted was a true treasure. In the time that he was on the Board, I came to see him and rely on him as a source of unmatched wisdom and guidance. His self-deprecating humility belied a towering intelligence. Quiet, warm, open and tenderhearted, he was one of the greats, and we all benefitted by being in his circle.
For Ted, life was an adventure and an opportunity to improve the world. A native of Missoula, Montana, he worked summers for the U.S. Forest Service as a smokejumper flying out of Missoula and Fairbanks, Alaska. When he wasn’t in the field, Ted was working with philanthropic organizations to improve the lives of people around the world and to ensure the integrity of critical ecosystems.
Ted worked 12 years in Jakarta, Indonesia for the Ford Foundation and served six years as president of John D. Rockefeller III’s Agricultural Development Council, which focused on agricultural and resource policies in Asia and Africa. He was the founding director of the Consultative Group on Biological Diversity in 1987, and during the 1980s and 1990s served as a consultant to the World Bank, the U.S. Agency for International Development, and the Rockefeller Foundation’s International Program.
For 15 years, Ted headed the Boston-based Kendall Foundation, where he developed programs in ocean fisheries policies, landscape conservation, watershed management and climate change. Throughout his career, Ted served on the boards of the Alaska Conservation Foundation, the National Parks Conservation Association, the Cambridge Energy Alliance, and Clean Air-Cool Planet. At the time of his death, he was a board member at the Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative and a Senior Fellow at the University of Montana’s Center for Natural Resources and Environmental Policy.
"Ted will be missed by everyone at Earthjustice for his wisdom, vast experience, common sense, humor and commitment to a better world for us all," said Earthjustice President Trip Van Noppen.
Ted’s brother Roger has asked that those wishing to make memorial gifts in Ted’s name may make them to Earthjustice.
Condolences may be sent to:
50 California St., Suite 500
San Francisco, CA 94111