Person

Molly McUsic

Occupation:

President, Wyss Foundation

Molly McUsic is president of the Wyss Foundation, the left-of-center grantmaking foundation of controversial medical device billionaire Hansjorg Wyss that focuses on environmentalist advocacy and land conservation in the American West[1] and holds over $2.5 billion in assets. [2] Before joining the Wyss Foundation, she served in the Clinton administration as Counselor to Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt and played a large role in designating national monuments under the Antiquities Act. [3] She was a founding board member of the Conservation Lands Foundation (CLF), a conservation advocacy group that heavily influences the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM). [4]

Background

Molly McUsic comes from a background in law. She is a former attorney, a former Skadden Fellow at the Arizona Center for Law in the Public Interest, a tenured professor at the University of North Carolina, and a visiting professor at Harvard Law School. [5] She is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame and Harvard Law School. [6] She clerked for U.S. Supreme Court Justice Harry A. Blackmun and the Honorable Dorothy W. Nelson. [7]

Environmentalist Politics

Molly McUsic served in the Clinton administration as Counselor to Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt,[8] who aggressively increased environmental regulations. [9] Babbitt established the National Landscape Conservation System (now called National Conservation Lands) in 2000, and credits McUsic with aggressively leading the campaign to designate national monuments under the Antiquities Act. [10]

The National Conservation Lands are managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM),[11] a U.S. government agency criticized as both environmentally and fiscally mismanaged. [12] BLM is heavily influenced by conservation advocacy groups like the Conservation Lands Foundation (CLF),[13] which received contributions of about $4.5 million dollars from the Wyss Foundation from 2011-2013. [14] Both Molly McUsic and Hansjorg Wyss were founding board members of CLF; Wyss, Babbitt, and Wyss Foundation vice president Chris Killingsworth are all presently board members. [15]

Political Donations

Between 2000 and 2019, McUsic gave over $20,000 to Democratic candidates. [16] She contributed to the campaigns of 2004 Democratic Presidential nominee John Kerry, President Barack Obama, and Hillary Clinton (in both 2008 and 2016). [17] Senator Michael Bennet (D-CO) received funds for his 2010 Senate race and his 2020 presidential campaign. [18]

References

  1. “About.” Wyss Foundation. 2018. Accessed September 5, 2019. https://www.wyssfoundation.org/about ^
  2. Wyss Foundation, Return of Private Foundation (Form 990-PF), 2017, Part II Line 16c ^
  3. “Molly McUsic.” Council on Foundations. 2019. Accessed September 5, 2019. https://www.cof.org/person/molly-mcusic ^
  4. Taylor, Phil. “Western Nonprofit is Changing the Face of BLM.” E&E News. July 28, 2016. Accessed September 8, 2019. https://www.eenews.net/stories/1060040913 ^
  5. “Molly McUsic.”Andes Amazon Fund. 2019. Accessed September 5, 2019. https://www.andesamazonfund.org/person/molly-mcusic/ ^
  6. “Molly McUsic.” Council on Foundations. 2019. Accessed September 5, 2019. https://www.cof.org/person/molly-mcusic ^
  7. “Molly McUsic.”Andes Amazon Fund. 2019. Accessed September 5, 2019.  https://www.andesamazonfund.org/person/molly-mcusic/ ^
  8. “Molly McUsic.” Council on Foundations. 2019. Accessed September 5, 2019. https://www.cof.org/person/molly-mcusic ^
  9. “Bruce Babbitt.” The Washington Post. 1998. Accessed September 7, 2019. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/politics/govt/admin/babbitt.htm ^
  10. Babbett, Bruce. “The National Landscape Conservation System- The Next Ten Years.” April 15, 2010. Accessed September 7, 2019. https://www.centerwest.org/archives/1045 ^
  11. “National Conservation Lands.” Bureau of Land Management. Accessed September 8, 2019. https://www.blm.gov/programs/national-conservation-lands ^
  12. Anderson, Terry L. and Watson, Reed. “Public Land Mismangement.” Forbes. April 7, 2009. Accessed September 8, 2019. https://www.forbes.com/2009/04/07/public-land-mismanagement-opinions-contributors-perc.html#7faab3833ded ^
  13. Taylor, Phil. “Western Nonprofit is Changing the Face of BLM.” E&E News. July 28, 2016. Accessed September 8, 2019. https://www.eenews.net/stories/1060040913 ^
  14. Taylor, Phil. “’Quietly Philanthropic’ Tycoon Makes his Mark in the West.” E&E News. March 24, 2015. Accessed September 8, 2019.  https://www.eenews.net/stories/1060015651 ^
  15. “Board for Directors.” Conservation Lands Foundation. 2019. Accessed September 8, 2019. https://conservationlands.org/home/who-we-are/board-of-directors ^
  16. “Donor Lookup: Molly McUsic.” OpenSecrets. Accessed September 5, 2019. https://www.opensecrets.org/search?order=desc&q=molly+mcusic&sort=D&type=donors ^
  17. “Donor Lookup: Molly McUsic.” OpenSecrets. Accessed September 5, 2019. https://www.opensecrets.org/search?order=desc&q=molly+mcusic&sort=D&type=donors ^
  18. “Donor Lookup: Molly McUsic.” OpenSecrets. Accessed September 5, 2019. https://www.opensecrets.org/search?order=desc&q=molly+mcusic&sort=D&type=donors ^
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