John A. Lanier is the Executive Director of the Ray C. Anderson Foundation, a Georgia-based private family foundation honoring the legacy of the late Ray C. Anderson (1934-2011). Lanier joined the Foundation in May 2013, leaving a successful career with Sutherland, Asbill and Brennan, LLP to assume his current role at the helm of the foundation that bears his grandfather’s name. Ray Anderson was a globally recognized industrialist and pioneer for environmentalism, and Lanier continues his legacy today through Foundation programs that seek to create a brighter, more sustainable world by funding innovative, educational, and project-based initiatives. From 2011 to 2013, Lanier worked in Atlanta as an Associate Attorney in Sutherland's Tax Practice Group, specializing in U.S. Federal taxation. He represented the interests of various Atlanta-based nonprofits, gaining experience in nonprofit formations, compliance, and applications for recognition of tax-exempt status. During that time, the Ray C. Anderson Foundation was one of his clients.
Lanier currently serves on the Board of Directors for Southface Energy Institute, the Southeast's nonprofit leader in the promotion of sustainable homes, workplaces and communities through education, research, advocacy and technical assistance. He also serves on the Board of Directors of Project Drawdown, a California-based nonprofit assembling and presenting the best available information on global climate solutions, highlighting their beneficial financial, social and environmental impacts. Finally, Lanier serves on the Board of Directors for Chattahoochee NOW, a Georgia-based nonprofit that facilitates and promotes the transformation of the Chattahoochee River into a dynamic corridor, offering a balance of preservation, recreation, and economic development for the Atlanta region.
Lanier is a graduate of the 2014 class of the Institute for Georgia Environmental Leadership (IGEL), a network of diverse statewide leaders collaborating to solve Georgia’s environmental challenges. He earned his Juris Doctorate (J.D.) from the University of Virginia School of Law, and he holds Bachelor of Arts Degrees in History and Economics from the University of Virginia. He is an Atlanta native and a college sports enthusiast who enjoys travel, hiking and a good glass of scotch in his spare time.
Co-Founder, Biomimcry 3.8
Film Director and Producer, Carbon Nation
Professor, ASU Schools of Sustainability and Journalism
Founder, Fazenda da Toca and Instituto Toca
Executive Director, Ray C. Anderson Foundation
Former Governor of Maryland
Founder and Chairman, Palm Ventures
Chairperson, Captain Planet Foundation
Co-Founder, Marin Carbon Project
We would like to stay in touch with you. Please sign up for updates to discover ways you can participate in the work of Drawdown.