Randall L. Hayes

Honorary Degrees

San Francisco State University​

Randall L. Hayes spent his career protecting the environment, shedding light on destructive environmental business practices and advocating for Indigenous Peoples’ rights. He has provided leadership and guidance to many extraordinary nonprofit organizations dedicated to environmental preservation, sustainable living and environmental and social justice. Throughout his career, Mr. Hayes organized highly-visible corporate accountability campaigns, holding companies accountable for harmful environmental practices. The Wall Street Journal once described Mr. Hayes as an “environmental pit bull."

Mr. Hayes co-founded Rainforest Action Network, an organization that is internationally renowned for its long-term dedication and commitment to protecting forests, the climate and upholding human rights through partnerships and strategic campaigns.

San Francisco State University is proud to count Mr. Hayes among its Gator alumni, having earned his master’s degree in environmental planning. His thesis, the documentary “The Four Corners,” shed light on destructive strip-mining practices on Native American land, and won the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences award for “Best Student Documentary.” Mr. Hayes served for five years as president of the City of San Francisco Commission on the Environment and also as the Director of Sustainability in the office of then-Oakland Mayor Edmund G. Brown, Jr.

Mr. Hayes’ work through Foundation Earth and the World Future Council focuses on a mission to bring an earth-centered economy into reality through long-term policies that promote sustainable living and a cleaner environment.

Through his lifelong and continuous dedication to protecting the earth’s complex ecosystems and to environmental and social justice - and through his radical vision - Mr. Hayes embodies the core values of San Francisco State University: Community, Life of the Mind, Courage, Equity and Resilience.

In recognition of his commitment to environmental and social justice, the Board of Trustees of the California State University and San Francisco State University are proud to confer upon Randall L. Hayes, the degree of Doctor of Humane Letters.