Dorothy Pratt, NGO executive, dies at 70

Dorothy Pratt, a former World Bank executive who led a non-governmental organization focused on conservation of mountain ecosystems and sustainable development, died on Aug. 12 at her home in Purcellville. She was 70.

The cause was cancer, said a daughter, Kaile Shilling.

Dr. Pratt spent her early career at the Mitre Corp., a research and consulting organization, where she worked on environmental impact assessments.

She joined the World Bank in 1979 and rose through the executive hierarchy in offices that oversaw environmental safety and sustainable development. Her jobs included chief of the environmental operations and strategy division.

Starting in 1994, Dr. Pratt spent eight years as president and chief executive of the Mountain Institute, a West Virginia-based non-governmental organization. It helps people who live in mountain regions such as Appalachia, the Andes and the Himalayas.

She was also a founding partner of Ecologica, a consulting firm that promotes economic and ecologic sustainability and whose clients include the World Bank and World Wildlife Fund. She was a founding board member of Friends of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Dr. Pratt was the U.S. chapter president of the United in Diversity Forum, an Indonesia-based nonprofit organization that works with business, government and community leaders on economic and social development.

Dorothy Jane Pratt was a Detroit native and a 1966 graduate of the University of Michigan. She received a certificate in Southeast Asian studies from Yale University and, in 1975, a doctorate in political science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

She held designation as a master gardener and recently passed a pretest for a black belt in aikido.

Survivors include her husband of 43 years, John D. “Jed” Shilling of Purcellville; two daughters, Kaile Shilling of Los Angeles and Kaitlin Shilling of Jakarta, Indonesia; a sister; and two grandchildren.

— Adam Bernstein

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