Caroline Lewis is an education strategist and consultant who builds capacity, promotes innovation, and inspires leadership in individuals and institutions. She is the founder and executive director of The CLEO Institute, a non-profit organization that advances civic engagement on environmental issues.
Caroline Lewis is passionate about education and its tremendous potential to influence lives. She is an education strategist who builds capacity, promotes innovation, and inspires leadership in individuals and institutions. Ms. Lewis develops creative, collaborative programs to significantly increase outreach to diverse audiences. Currently, she is an independent consultant as well as founding director of the CLEO Institute, a non-profit that advances climate literacy and civic engagement. At CLEO, she works with scientists, business and elected leaders, students, teachers, and the community at large to promote solution-oriented approaches to address climate disruptions that are here and coming. CLEO is determined to drive climate action through education and engagement
For 22 years Lewis was a science teacher and school principal. She then joined the staff of Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, created the Fairchild Challenge, and, as Director of Education, expanded programs and partnerships 800%. In 2002, Lewis designed and initiated the competitive, interdisciplinary Fairchild Challenge to establish an annual school program that promotes, provokes, and celebrates teenagers’ engagement in environmental issues. The response by students, teachers, parents and the community was immense and immediate. Designed initially for high schools, by demand, Fairchild Challenge middle and elementary school programs have also been implemented and expanded, nationally and internationally.
Ms. Lewis has influenced environmental education efforts in institutions around the United States, including: California, DC, Florida, Illinois, Iowa, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Utah; and internationally, including: Botswana, Costa Rica, Colombia, Mexico, Netherlands, Peru, South Africa, and Venezuela. In addition, she serves or has served on teams, boards and committees for several organizations, including: National Environmental Education Advisory Council, American Public Garden Association, Miami-Dade Executive Board for Science Curriculum and Instruction, the Climate Literacy Network, the White House Summits on Climate and Energy and on Women & the Environment, and the Conservation Fund’s Advisory Panel for the National Forum on Children and Nature.
In 2013, Ms. Lewis was one of twelve individuals, nationally, recognized as White House Climate Resilience Champions of Change for her work. She was nominated for this prestigious honor by the Union of Concerned Scientists, and used the Champions of Change panel discussion to advance the mission of the CLEO Institute and civic engagement in climate issues.
Ms. Lewis also delivers keynote addresses and facilitates workshops and presentations. Speaking to the power and importance of effective teaching and interdisciplinary environmental education, she infuses others with the motivation to make a difference in today’s world. She recently authored Just Back Off and LET US TEACH - a book for effective teachers and those who champion them. Born and raised in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad, Caroline Lewis earned a B.S. in biology and a B.Ed. in secondary science and environmental science education. Her M.S. is in educational leadership. She lives in Miami, Florida with her husband, John.
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