News & Resources

Faces of Leadership: Dr. Noah Toly, Secretary, Board of Trustees

Posted by lindsaybarden | Jan 06, 2017

Noah Toly, Secretary for Au Sable’s Board of Trustees has been serving as a board member for over two years. In his position of leadership as Secretary of the Board, Dr. Toly puts an emphasis on listening well, striving to see the big picture, and thinking strategically about the present and future operations of the Institute.

Before joining the Board of Trustees, Noah taught Environmental Policy at Au Sable as a faculty member. Currently, Dr. Toly works at Wheaton College in Illinois as a Professor of Politics and International Relations and Director of the Center for Urban Engagement.

Well traveled, and a globally recognized expert in environmental politics, Dr. Noah Toly brings a wealth of experience to his leadership at the Au Sable Institute. Noah holds a B.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies and Spanish, and an M.A. in Theology from Wheaton College, In addition, he earned an M.A. and Ph.D. in Urban Affairs and Public Policy from the University of Delaware.

He is an extensively published author of academic papers, author, and editor of numerous books, and is invited internationally to speak on the topics of cities, politics, and the environment. He runs a blog, “Noah Toly – Anything over 140 characters” where he writes about higher education, cities and urbanism, the environment, and shares important quotes, and his own photographs. Visit his blog at

Over his years of involvement with the Au Sable Institute of Environmental Studies, Noah remembers fondly, his time spent with his family on Big Twin Lake at ASI’s Great Lakes Campus. His children especially loved fishing on the lake during those summer weeks with Dr. Fred Van Dyke, the Institute’s Executive Director and Ben Lowe former Chair of the Board of Trustees.

“It has been a real privilege to hear about the impact of Au Sable from students and alumni, not to mention the various faculty representatives at the Institute’s partner schools. We should not take for granted what the Au Sable Institute makes possible by partnering with schools to help them offer more robust curricula and a field-based education that might not otherwise be available to many schools,” Dr. Toly noted. “It has been a great encouragement to watch as the institute fulfills its mission through teaching and research, and to come alongside other Christians in the task of creation care.”

Dr. Noah Toly and his wife Becky live in Wheaton Illinois where together they raise their three children, Joe, Ben and Rose and their dog Sprocket.