Dr. Jim Lester holds a Doctorate in Zoology from the University of Texas at Austin, and was a member of the HARC staff for over 14 years before retiring in 2016. He joined HARC in 2002 as the Director of HARC’s Environment Group, and served as Vice President and Chief Operating Officer for six years before assuming the helm as President in 2012. Dr. Lester was responsible for strategic direction of HARC’s programs which were designed to make more sustainable our management of water, air and natural resources.
During his tenure at HARC, Dr. Lester was engaged in projects that analyze compilations of datasets from multiple sources to obtain new insights for watershed or landscape management. He also served in a leadership capacity for the HARC program on air quality science. Prior to joining HARC, he was a faculty member and administrator in the University of Houston System where he held administrative positions at the University of Houston-Clear Lake as a Dean, Associate Vice President, and Director of the Environmental Institute of Houston. Although Dr. Lester continues to serve in an advisory capacity to a few organizations in the Houston/Galveston Region, he greatly enjoys his return to hands-on biology. He and his wife built a home in Red River County, Texas where they maintain around 140 acres under a wildlife exemption.