Robert Musil: “Is Anybody Listening? Lessons from a Life in Advocacy”

Katherine Fitzgerald Public Lecture

From the Vietnam anti-war movement, to award-winning alternative radio, to today’s campaigns to link the environment with economic, gender, and racial justice, Rachel Carson Council CEO Robert Musil will share his insights on effective organizing, communications, and lobbying at a public lecture “Is Anybody Listening? Lessons from a Life in Advocacy” on Tuesday, October 3, at 4:30 pm in Dwight 101. The event is free and open to the public. Wheelchair accessible, and closed caption. Part of the Weissman Center for Leadership series on Advocacy and the Public Domain.

This event precedes Musil’s lecture “The Rachel Carson Legacy: Empathy and Environmental Justice” on October 5 at 4:30 pm in Gamble Auditorium, sponsored by the Miller Worley Center for the Environment.

Robert K. Musil, PhD, MPH

President and CEO of the Rachel Carson Council, Inc.

Robert K. Musil, PhD, MPH, is the President and CEO of the Rachel Carson Council, Inc. and former Executive Director and CEO of Physicians for Social Responsibility that was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1985. He serves as a Senior Fellow and Adjunct Professor at the Center for Congressional and Presidential Studies, American University.

Dr. Musil began his tenure at the Rachel Carson Council in 2014, and is only the third head of this historic environmental movement that was envisioned by Rachel Carson and founded in 1965 by her closest friends and colleagues. As a Senior Fellow and Adjunct Professor at the Center for Congressional and Presidential Studies, School of Public Affairs, American University, Dr. Musil teaches about climate change and American environmental politics.  He also has been a Visiting Scholar at the Churches’ Center for Theology and Public Policy, Wesley Theological Seminary, where he taught about religious responses to global warming and security threats.

From 1992-2006, Dr. Musil was the longest-serving Executive Director and CEO of Physicians for Social Responsibility (PSR), winner of the 1985 Nobel Prize for Peace. During his tenure, he nearly tripled PSR’s membership, budget, and staff.  Dr. Musil helped launch PSR’s environmental program in the early 1990’s and led PSR campaigns for safe and affordable drinking water, clean air, and to prevent toxic pollution and global climate change. As a member of the Green Group, representing the nation’s thirty-four largest environmental groups, Dr. Musil has met regularly and worked closely over the years with leading public figures including Presidents and Vice Presidents, numerous cabinet members, and Congressional leaders.  He also initiated PSR’s U.S.-Mexico Border Project in El Paso and Juarez, Mexico and has represented PSR at international environment negotiations in Montreal, Kyoto, Johannesburg, Geneva, and elsewhere.

Dr. Musil’s writing specializes in contemporary global sustainability, security, and health issues, as well as Cold War history, culture, and policy. He is the author of numerous articles and books including “Hope for a Heated Planet: How Americans are Fighting Global Warming and Building a Better Future(Rutgers University Press, 2009) and “Rachel Carson and Her Sisters: Extraordinary Women Who Have Shaped America’s Environment” (Rutgers Press, 2014). His latest book is “Washington in Springtime: A Nature Journal for a Changing Capital(Bartleby Press, 2016), a reflective nature journal that looks at two very different springs in the Capital area in the light of global climate change.

A long-time leader of the environmental, peace, and nuclear arms control movements, Dr. Musil has also been Executive Director of the Professionals’ Coalition for Nuclear Arms Control, the SANE Education Fund, the Center for National Security Studies Military Affairs Project, and CCCO: An Agency for Military and Draft Counseling. He is a former Army Captain who taught communications and policy at the Defense Information School, Ft. Benjamin Harrison, Indiana. Dr. Musil was the Executive Producer and host of "Consider the Alternatives" a half-hour weekly radio program syndicated to over 150 stations with over 2,000,000 listeners.  He has been the producer of numerous ground-breaking independent video documentaries and public radio documentary series including “One Blue Sky: Health and the Human Environment.” Dr. Musil is two-time winner of the Armstrong Award for Excellence in Radio Broadcasting.

Dr. Musil is a graduate of Yale and Northwestern Universities and the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health and has been a Visiting Honorary Fellow at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and of Pembroke College, Cambridge University. He received an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters (LHD) from Mitchell College and joined their Board of Trustees in 2009. In spring 2011, Dr. Musil was also awarded an honorary Doctor of Science (Sc.D.) at Lincoln Memorial University. A Woodrow Wilson Foundation Visiting Fellow since 2006, he is widely sought as a campus and civic lecturer. Dr. Musil has also taught at Northwestern, Temple, St. Joseph’s and LaSalle Universities. Dr. Musil also serves as President of the Herbert R. Scoville Peace Fellowship, Chairman of the Board of the Population Connection Action Fund (former Zero Population Growth) and Chairman of the Board of the Council for a Livable World.