Lester R. Brown is president of Earth Policy Institute, an organization dedicated to building a sustainable future. Described by the Washington Post as "one of the world's most influential thinkers," Brown started his career as a tomato farmer. Shortly after earning a degree in agricultural science, he spent six months living in rural India, where he became intimately familiar with the food/population issue. Brown later became head of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's International Agricultural Development Service. In 1974 he founded the Worldwatch Institute, leaving in 2001 to found the Earth Policy Institute. He has authored or co-authored over 50 books, the most recent of which is World on the Edge: How to Prevent Environmental and Economic Collapse, and has received 24 honorary degrees and numerous awards, including the 1987 United Nations Environment Prize, a MacArthur Foundation "genius award," and the 1994 Blue Planet Prize. He lives in Washington, D.C.