Dr. Hecht a recipient of the Presidential Rank Award for Meritorious Service is Director for Sustainable Development in the Office of Research and Development (ORD) at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Since 2003 he has actively advanced the concept of sustainability within ORD and EPA. On detail to the White House, from 2001 to 2003 he was Associate Director for Sustainable Development at the Council on Environmental Quality (2002–2003) and Director of International Environmental Affairs for the National Security Council (2001–2002) where he served as White House coordinator for preparations for the World Summit on Sustainable Development. At EPA From 1989 to 2001, he served as the Deputy Assistant Administrator for International Activities and Acting Assistant Administrator for International Activities from 1992 to 1994 and was a key U.S. negotiator at the 1992 Rio Earth Summit. Dr. Hecht has a Ph.D in geology and geochemistry from Case Western Reserve University.

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Whenever a disaster strikes, such as the 2011 Fukushima meltdown or the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, our instinctive response is to overcome the shock, assist the victims, and return to normal as quickly as possible. But perhaps returning to normal is the wrong strategy. Perhaps, instead, we should try to understand the changing conditions …

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