Dr. Peter H. Raven is a world leader in botany and ecology and advocate for global biodiversity conservation. He is past President of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Chairman of the National Geographic Society's Committee for Research and Exploration, and Chair of the Division of Earth and Life Studies of the National Research Council. For over 35 years he has guided the Missouri Botanical Garden to become a world-class center for botanical research, conservation, education and horticulture display. The Garden is a leader in botanical research in Latin America, Africa and Asia, with strong programs in North America as well. Education programs at the Garden reach more than 100,000 students in St. Louis each year and provide professional development for teachers. The splendid horticultural displays attract more than 750,000 visitors to the Garden annually.
Described by TIME magazine as a Hero for the Planet, Dr. Raven champions research around the world to preserve endangered plants and promotes the cause for biodiversity conservation and sustainable development. He is the recipient of numerous prizes and awards, including the prestigious International Prize for Biology from the government of Japan ; Environmental Prize of the Institute de la Vie; Volvo Environment Prize; the Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement, and the Sasakawa Environment Prize. He has held Guggenheim and John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Fellowships.
In 2001, he received from the President of the United States , the National Medal of Science, the highest award for scientific accomplishment in this country. He served for 12 years as Home Secretary of the National Academy of Sciences, is a member of the academies of science in Argentina, Brazil, China, Denmark, India, Italy, Mexico, Russia, Sweden, the U.K. and the Pontifical Academy of Sciences.
He has written numerous books and scientific publications and is the Engelmann Professor of Botany at Washington University in St. Louis . He received his Ph.D. from the University of California , Los Angeles , in 1960 after completing his undergraduate work at the University of California , Berkeley.