Kirk P. Rodgers
WOOLFORD — Kirk P. Rodgers, President of Besley & Rodgers, Inc., and former Director of Sustainable Development and the Environment at the Organization of American States, died Thursday of complications from heart disease. The resident of Falls Church, VA, and Woolford, MD, was 83.
The son of S. Procter Rodgers and Jean Besley Rodgers was born into a distinguished Baltimore family. His grandfather, Fred W. Besley, was the first state forester of Maryland.
Mr. Rodgers, who was raised in Baltimore, was a 1950 graduate of Gilman School. He earned a Bachelor’s degree in geography in 1954 from Yale University. He continued at Yale to earn a Master’s degree in Natural Resources Management and Conservation.
Following jobs with the U.S. Forest Service, the Baltimore County Planning Commission, and a threeyear tour of duty as a naval air intelligence officer, Mr. Rodgers joined the Organization of American States (OAS) in 1960 and in 1965 was named Chief of the Natural Resources Unit. In 1971, he became the Director of the Department of Regional Development and Environment, and in 1996 he was appointed Director of the Unit for Sustainable Development and Environment.
He managed a multidisciplinary staff providing technical assistance to countries in Latin America and the Caribbean in planning integrated development. Mr. Rodgers has been honored for his work on water resources management in the Western Hemisphere, especially for his role in the creation of the Inter-American Water Resources Network.
His career focused on the environment and international development. He worked with the United Nations to prepare for the first World Environment Conference in 1972, and he was involved extensively in preparations for the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development in 1992. He retired from the OAS in 1998 and continued for several years as a consultant to international organizations, including the Commission of Environmental Cooperation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).
Mr. Rodgers was an avid outdoorsman and managed nearly 8000 acres of pine forest and wetlands on the Eastern Shore of Maryland and in Tidewater, Virginia. As president of his family’s timber corporation, which is the largest family-owned forestry business in Maryland, he often spoke locally and nationally about sustainable forest management.
Mr. Rodgers served as President of the Maryland Forests Association and President of the Forest Landowners Association. He also served on the Board of Directors of the Forest Landowners Tax Council and recently became involved with the Forest History Society.
In 2004, he received a Distinguished Alumnus Award from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies for his lifetime achievements. In 2009, he received the Forest Landowners Association Leadership Award.
Mr. Rodgers’ wife, Karen “Tweedy” Rodgers, died in 2000. Mr. Rodgers is survived by his daughter, Kim; his son, Brian; daughter-inlaw, Cathy; three grandsons, Kyle, Sean, and Bret; and his sister, Margaret Rodgers Rak.
A funeral service will be held on Thursday, October 20, 2016 at 12 Noon at The Old Trinity Church, 1716 Taylors Island Road, Church Creek, MD. The family will receive friends prior to the funeral service in the church Parish house from 11 a.m. to 11:45 a.m.
Arrangements are in the care of the Thomas Funeral Home, P.A in Cambridge, MD.
KIRK P. RODGERS