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Cristián Samper is Principal Advisor for Nature at the Bezos Earth Fund and has served as President & Chief Executive Officer of the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) since 2012. WCS is one the largest environmental non-profit organizations in the world, established in 1895 to save wildlife and wild places. WCS manages the largest network of urban wildlife parks, hosting four million visitors each year, and carries long-term field research and conservation programs in more than 60 countries.
Prior to joining WCS, Dr. Samper served as Director of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History and was the founding director of Colombia’s Alexander von Humboldt Institute. He served as Chair of the science advisory body of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity and was one of the leaders of the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Raised in Colombia, Dr. Samper studied biology at the Universidad de Los Andes and earned his MA and PhD from Harvard University.