Emily Arnold

Emily Arnold Mest

Title and Credentials: 
Associate Director

Emily Arnold is currently the Associate Director of the Osa and Golfito Initiative (INOGO) at Stanford's Woods Institute for the Environment. Prior her work with INOGO, Arnold worked for Prize Capital, a company that develops innovative financial mechanisms to address environmental challenges. While at Prize Capital, Mest engaged in the initial research and development efforts that eventually led to the NRG Cosia Carbon X Prize.  She also led efforts focused on urban farming, REDD+, and private conservation strategy. At Prize Capital Mest was part of a multi-year effort to engage with stakeholders to address increasing challenges in the Osa and Golfito region of Costa Rica, an effort that ultimately led to the creation of INOGO.

Arnold began her work in Costa Rica with the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), serving as the Costa Rica sole in-country representative while pursing a master's degree. NRDC’s focus on investigating strategies to make Costa Rica fossil fuel free in the energy and transportation sectors caused her to frequently interact directly with high-level government officials.

Arnold initially built a foundation in cmmunity development and conservation working with small NGOs in Greece and Mexico, after which she worked in Paris at France Nature Environment, a network of over 3,000 organizations lobbying to influence French, European and international environmental policy. She then worked in Washington, DC at the Earth Policy Institute, led by Worldwatch Institute founder Lester Brown, where she contributed to Brown's book Plan B 2.0 and authored an Eco-Economy Update on the negative impacts of bottled water on the environment.

Ms. Arnold first discovered her passion for for-profit environmental ventures while working at Canopy Development, a start-up company exploring a sustainable tourism-based model for conservation and economic development. At Canopy Development she ran the internal sustainability efforts of the company, as well as serving as project manager for the first Canopy Development branded resort.

Ms. Arnold holds two masters degrees: one in Natural Resources and Sustainable Development from the United Nations Mandated University for Peace in San Jose, Costa Rica and another in International Affairs from American University in Washington, DC. She received her BA from Smith College in Sociology and French.