Our board approves funding our teams and provides financial and strategic support to the partnership.
Ruth is Denning Family Professor of Sustainable Development at Columbia University in New York City. A member of the US National Academy of Sciences, Ruth has received the MacArthur Foundation “genius” award. She is also a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, American Geophysical Union, Ecological Society of America, and American Academy for Arts and Sciences. She co-directs the undergraduate program in Sustainable Development at Columbia University.
Author on more than 100 peer-reviewed papers, her research, focused in the Amazon and India, balances human societies’ landscape transformation for requirements such as food production and settlements, and maintaining a habitable planet. Her book, The Big Ratchet: How Humanity Thrives in the Face of Nature Crisis is aimed at a popular audience.
Frank is a professor at the Bren School of Environmental Science and Management at the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) and former Director of NCEAS. He has been a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Aldo Leopold Leadership Program and Google Science Communication. He serves on the board of TNC’s California program and the Tejon Ranch Conservancy.
After founding and directing the UCSB Biogeography Lab, Frank’s current research focuses on ecological implications of climate change for California’s ecosystems. This includes effects of renewable energy development, land use and climate change in the California deserts, as well as cross-scale effects of climate change on forests and woodlands. He chaired the National Research Council’s committee to evaluate the Everglades Restoration Project.
Adriana serves as Executive Coordinator of the UNDP – Global Environmental Finance (GEF) Unit. She provides strategic leadership and management of a US$4 billion portfolio with over 1,000 projects in 150 countries. These cover five technical areas: sustainable management of ecosystems and biodiversity; sustainable, accessible and affordable energy services; scaling up climate change adaptation and mitigation; sustainable water and ocean governance; and sustainable management of chemicals and waste.
Before joining UNDP, Adriana was based in South Africa as Development Director for Fauna & Flora International and in Washington, DC as EarthVoice’s Director for Habitat Programs and a biodiversity expert with the World Bank. She began her career Romania as IUCN Country Representative and a researcher in freshwater ecology at University of Bucharest.
Harry is the retired CEO and board chair of the investment firm Dodge & Cox. He served the firm over 39 years and earned his MBA from Northwestern University. He was a Governor of the Investment Counsel Association of America (ICAA) Board. Harry also served on boards of St. Luke’s Hospital, the Lucille Packard Children’s Hospital in Palo Alto, and the highly respected scientific and education institution California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco.
Harry and his wife Shirley (a trustee of TNC’s Idaho Chapter) are restoring several miles of spring creeks and providing much needed habitat for native fish, birds and mammals near Bellevue, Idaho. They worked tirelessly with the founding partners to launch SNAPP in 2010 and continue to foster its mission.
Ben is the executive director of NCEAS and professor in the Bren School of Environmental Science and Management at University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB). He is chair in marine conservation at Imperial College London and serves as director of the Center for Marine Assessment and Planning at UCSB. He was previously a post-doctoral and research associate at NCEAS and the Smith fellowship program.
Focusing his research at the interface between marine ecology and conservation planning, Ben has led the development of the Ocean Health Index among other major mapping and synthesis projects. He has published nearly 150 peer-reviewed articles and was named one of the World’s Most Influential Scientific Minds by Thompson-Reuters. Ben received the A.G. Huntsman Award for outstanding contributions to marine sciences.
Hugh is recently retired as the former Chief Scientist for The Nature Conservancy, where he led more than 600 scientists engaged in conservation. He is a foreign associate of the US and Fellow of the Australian National Academy of Sciences and an Australian Research Council Laureate Fellow.
He previously directed the Centre for Biodiversity and Conservation Science at the University of Queensland, Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Environmental Decisions and the Australian Government’s National Environmental Science Program Threatened Species Recovery Hub.
Hugh’s team’s Marxan software drove Australia’s rezoning of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park and is now used in more than 150 countries to change the face of about 5% of the planet’s surface. He is author and editor of numerous scientific publications and books.
As Chief Conservation Officer for WCS, John is keenly interested in the sustainable use of natural resources and the relationship between conservation research and practice. After postdoctoral studies with the Smithsonian Institution, John was professor at the University of Florida, establishing a graduate program to train students from tropical countries.
John has over 180 publications including four books. Former president of the Society for Conservation Biology, board chair of the Christensen Fund and Foundations of Success, and on the executive committee of the Tropical Forest Foundation, he presently serves as IUCN councilor and vice president for North America and the Caribbean. King Bernhard of the Netherlands inducted John into the Royal Order of the Golden Ark, recognizing a lifetime of achievement and service to conservation.
Cristián is President and CEO of WCS. Formerly, he directed the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History and founded and served as first director of the Alexander von Humboldt Institute, for which he received the National Medal of the Environment by the President of Colombia. He helped launch the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment chairing the Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice of the UN Convention of Biological Diversity; was IUCN Species Survival Commission vice chair, and served the Global Environmental Facility science advisory panel.
Cristián currently board chair for Biodiversity International as well as serving on the boards of the Carnegie Institution for Science, Harvard University and Encyclopedia of Life. He is member of the Council on Foreign Affairs and White House Advisory Council on Wildlife Trafficking.
Mike Sweeney is Executive Director of The Nature Conservancy (TNC) in California and Managing Director of Global Fisheries. He has worked in business, government and nonprofits and has more than 20 years of experience solving major environmental challenges in the U.S. and internationally. He joined TNC in 1998 as a project director and became Chief Operating Officer and Associate State Director in 2001. In that role he oversaw historic accomplishments and major strategic initiatives in water, climate, oceans and public finance. In 2007, he was named Executive Director in California, and in 2016 he added the role of Managing Director of Global Fisheries. As an assistant to Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt, he helped advance the first Clinton Administration’s conservation priorities, including national park concessions reform, the transition of closing military bases to wildlife refuges, Everglades restoration, and making the Endangered Species Act more effective. Previously, he worked in national politics for the Clinton-Gore 92 campaign in Little Rock, for Kodansha Ltd, Japan’s largest publisher, and served on the staff of a member of the Japanese Diet. Since 2008 he has served as a director and program committee chair for Island Conservation. He holds an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School and a B.A. from Harvard College.
Molly Wallace is the Managing Director of the Conservancy’s Global Science team, responsible for overall team management, alignment with global and regional priorities, philanthropy coordination, and strategy integration.
Molly joined the Washington Program of the Conservancy in 2006. She has since worked at the state, regional and global levels of the organization. Prior to joining Global Science, she directed the Emerald Edge program, spanning over 100 million acres of the world’s largest intact temperate rainforest. Molly has also led an organizational design process for a new Canadian entity (TNC Canada), conducted the first phase of market and strategic analysis for the Conservancy’s India program, and led development of a multimillion dollar corporate partnership in Western Australia.
Molly received a Bachelors in Anthropology from Vassar College and a dual Masters in Sustainable Development/Conservation Biology and Public Policy from the University of Maryland, College Park. She currently resides in Seattle, WA.
Ward is chair of the board of the WCS and the Advisory Board of the Woods Institute for the Environment, Stanford University; and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. Former positions include trustee of Stanford University; chairman of Stanford Management Company; governor and treasurer of The Nature Conservancy; and Vice-Chair of the Asia Society.
After graduating from Stanford University in 1964, he worked in the engineering construction business, then became a Managing Director and a Partner of Lehman Brothers. He moved to be a senior partner and member of the management committee of Lazard Freres & Company. During his career, Ward was also president and CEO of Bessemer Securities Corporation and Founding Partner of Bessemer Holdings, L.P.