Robert F. Wasserstrom, Ph. D.

Dr. Wasserstrom is a social anthropologist with extensive experience in community development, stakeholder engagement and environmental communications. Before founding the Terra Group, he served as Vice President of Public Affairs at a Fortune 500 company. His career has included positions in academia, non-governmental organizations and international lenders. In 1995, he established the Terra Group and has advised private clients about social investments and stakeholder engagement in more than 20 countries around the world.

Professional Experience

Dr. Wasserstrom spent four years in Mexico conducting social and environmental research for the National Council for Science and Technology, a Cabinet-level agency within the Mexican government. After returning to the United States in 1977, he taught at Southern Methodist University in Dallas and at the Columbia University in New York. Later, he served as project director for the World Resources Institute, a major energy and environmental policy center in Washington, D.C.

Upon leaving WRI, he worked at two consulting firms in Washington. From 1987-1989, he served as director of public affairs for the National Solid Wastes Management Association, where he designed and implemented a national campaign to improve public perceptions of the waste disposal industry. In 1989, he became divisional vice president of Browning-Ferris Industries in Houston (the country’s second largest waste management firm), where he won public approval for new landfills, medical waste incinerators, a major waste-to-energy plant, and other facilities.

In addition to his consulting practice, Dr. Wasserstrom teaches at graduate-level institutions in the U. S. and Latin America. Most recently, he conducted a two-week seminar on the international oil and gas industry for the Latin American Energy Organization (the trade association of energy ministries and state oil companies) at the Facultad Latinoamericana de Ciencias Sociales in Quito, Ecuador.

Dr. Wasserstrom is a Fellow of the Society for Applied Anthropology, a Senior Energy Researcher at the University of Texas Center for Energy Economics, and an Associate Editor for the Society of Petroleum Engineers journal, Economics & Management.

For a complete list of recent articles, see Publications and Presentations


  • Certificat d’Etudes Francaises Université de Grenoble, 1966
  • A.B. Anthropology, Harvard University, 1970 (summa cum laude)
  • A.M. Anthropology, Harvard University, 1973
  • Ph.D. Anthropology, Harvard University, 1977
  • Susan Reider

    Susan Reider has compiled over 30 years of experience with community-based organizations. Her early career focused on improving public policy for human services and advocating for the rights of disadvantaged people as a non-governmental organization leader. She also worked in government and in the private sector before forming the Terra Group with Dr. Robert Wasserstrom in 1995. As Senior Partner, she has advised public and private sector clients on sustainable community development initiatives and stakeholder programs in North and South America, Africa, Europe and Central Asia.

    Previous Experience

    Ms. Reider’s career as a human services advocate and manager began in 1975, when she served as public affairs officer for the Pennsylvania Association for Retarded Citizens. She worked closely with public interest attorneys on two major lawsuits that were argued before the U.S. Supreme Court, and was also responsible for developing and managing legislative programs at the state and federal levels. From 1985 to 1992, Ms. Reider served as executive director of the Mental Health Association of Pennsylvania. In 1987, her efforts to reform controversial mental heath laws won her recognition as one of 500 “Hard-Working Women of Pennsylvania.”

    As a press officer in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, she managed all public relations activities for 15 legislators in the state capital and in their home districts. She also assisted in research, issues management and strategic planning for the House Democratic leadership.

    Before co-founding the Terra Group, Ms. Reider represented a variety of clients including human services agencies, legal services organizations and political parties. She managed several political campaigns, served as press officer for other campaigns, and coordinated media relations for international events. She also tested and developed strategic messages that were used in radio and print advertising.

    In addition to providing consulting services, Ms. Reider has lectured on social performance and international standards for oil and gas operations at the University of Texas. She also participated in the 2010 National Security Seminar at the Army War College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania.

    For a complete list of publications, please see Publications and Presentations


  • A.B. Political Science, Syracuse University, 1974
  • A.B. Public Communications, Syracuse University, 1974