Ernest Tollerson

Ernest Tollerson serves on the board of the Hudson River Foundation, which funds basic and applied scientific research required to inform decision-making about the Hudson Estuary and the Hudson River Valley watershed. He also served a three-year term on Mayor Bill de Blasio’s NPCC3 (New York City Panel on Climate Change).

From 2004 through 2013, he served as a trustee of the Nathan Cummings Foundation (NCF), including a three-year term as board chair; he also filled in as NCF’s Interim president and CEO from July 2014 until November 2015. In that capacity he helped to reinvigorate NCF’s focus on climate and inequality as well as the intersection of those issues.

Mr. Tollerson is the former Director of Environmental Sustainability and Compliance at the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), where he led work on a Blue Ribbon Commission on Sustainability and the MTA, a roadmap for environmentally sustainable business practices for North America’s largest network of subways, buses, regional rail, bridges and tunnels. During his 7 1/2-year stint at the MTA, he co-chaired the Transportation & Land Use Technical Working Group of the New York State Climate Action Plan Interim Report (

To increase MTA riders’ access to real-time information and expand the MTA’s collaboration with app developers, he organized an MTA UnConference at Google’s NY office in 2010 and launched MTA App Quest in 2011, a competition that created apps for MTA subways, buses and regional rail. He championed Open Data projects, including the December 2012 launch of the cloud-managed GTFS-Real Time Feed of arrival/departure estimates for subway lines 1-6 and the 42nd St. Shuttle.

In his nearly 25 years as a reporter and editor, Mr. Tollerson worked for a number of newspapers, including the Philadelphia Inquirer, New York’s Newsday, where he was the editor of the editorial and op-ed pages, and The New York Times, where he was first a national correspondent and later a member of the editorial board.

Mr. Tollerson chairs the board of Riverkeeper. He is also on the boards of the Environmental Grantmakers Association, Environmental Advocates NY,  the South Street Seaport Museum and the New-York Historical Society.