Executive Team Members
Mark Tercek is president and CEO of The Nature Conservancy, the global conservation organization known for its intense focus on collaboration and getting things done for the benefit of people and nature. He is the author of the Washington Post and Publisher’s Weekly bestselling book Nature’s Fortune: How Business and Society Thrive by Investing in Nature.
Growing up as a city kid in Cleveland, Mark was a late-bloomer to conservation. It was becoming a parent that sparked his passion for nature. “I want to be able to look my kids in the eye,” he says, “and tell them I did all I could to leave the world a better place.”
A former managing director and Partner for Goldman Sachs, where he spent 24 years, Mark brings deep business experience to his role leading the Conservancy, which he joined in 2008. He is a champion of the idea of natural capital — valuing nature for its own sake as well as for the services it provides for people, such as clean air and water, productive soils and a stable climate.
During his time at Goldman Sachs, Mark managed several of the firm’s key units, including Corporate Finance, Equity Capital Markets and Pine Street, the firm’s leadership development program. In 2005, after two decades as an investment banker, Mark was tapped to develop the firm’s environmental strategy and to lead its Environmental Markets Group.
Inspired by the opportunity to help businesses, governments and environmental organizations work together in new, innovative ways, Mark left Goldman Sachs in 2008 to head up The Nature Conservancy.
In 2012, Mark appointed by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo to serve on the New York State 2100 Commission, which was created in the wake of Superstorm Sandy to advise the governor and the state on how to make the state’s infrastructure more resilient to future storms. Mark is also a member of several boards and councils, including Resources for the Future and the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions. He is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. Mark earned an M.B.A. from Harvard in 1984 and a B.A. from Williams College in 1979. [more...]
Brian McPeek, Chief Conservation Officer
As Chief Conservation Officer, Brian McPeek works closely with The Nature Conservancy’s president and CEO to lead and manage all major organizational initiatives. He oversees the Conservancy’s Conservation, External Affairs and Philanthropy divisions, and works to develop and implement new ways to collaborate across teams and borders.
In his previous role as the Conservancy’s regional managing director for North America, McPeek led a team responsible for planning and developing the organization’s long-term priorities and strengthening its conservation work among strategy teams and the field. He also worked closely with an integrated leadership team to advance a national conservation agenda.
McPeek was also instrumental in the launch of the Forever Costa Rica project and strengthened the management of conservation programs by creating and launching the Conservation Measures Business Plan. Previously, as the deputy director of the Conservancy's Colorado program, he oversaw the community-based work in 12 Colorado landscapes as well as statewide science, land conservation, forest health, water and public policy initiatives.
Prior to joining the Conservancy, McPeek was with McKinsey & Company, where he advised Fortune 500, private equity, and select start-up companies on strategic issues, specializing in capital markets and corporate strategy. In addition, he has served in a variety of positions during eight years of active duty as an officer in the U.S. Air Force, including assignments with the Office of the Secretary of Defense and Air Force Headquarters.
McPeek earned a master's in international relations from Georgetown University, School of Foreign Service and a B.A. from Duke University.
Lois Quam, Chief Operating Officer
Lois Quam is Chief Operating Officer at The Nature Conservancy, where she oversees Finance and Operations, Legal and Marketing Divisions.
Lois brings to the Conservancy a wealth of executive experience in both the public and private health sectors, and at the intersection of health and sustainable energy technology. She believes that the Conservancy has a central role to play in global development, describing the organization’s work as urgent and vital to a sustainable future.
Prior to joining the Conservancy, Lois served as Executive Director of the Global Health Initiative at the U.S. Department of State, reporting to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, before serving as Special Advisor to Secretary John Kerry with a focus on global health and public-private partnerships.
Prior to joining the State Department, Lois held a distinguished 17-year career at UnitedHealth Group, where she led the company's efforts to serve older and low-income Americans. Her leadership roles included developing UnitedHealth's relationship with AARP, launching the company's international operations, and overseeing Medicare and Medicaid-based businesses serving more than 10 million Americans. As CEO of Ovations, a division she founded at UnitedHealth in 1998, she grew the company's revenues from inception to over $30 billion in the span of eight years, leading more than 20,000 employees.
Inspired by a life-changing trip to visit her Norwegian family in Arctic Norway – where she witnessed the realities of a changing climate converge with advancements in sustainable energy – Lois left UnitedHealth in 2007 to lead clean technology issues at the investment firm Piper Jaffray. In 2009, she brought her two passions together—founding and serving as Chief Executive Officer of Tysvar, LLC, a Minnesota-based strategic advisory firm helping to build strong, socially responsible businesses at the intersection of clean technology and health.
Lois has appeared three times on Fortune magazine's list of the 50 most powerful women in American business. She received a Master’s Degree in Philosophy, Politics and Economics as a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University, and is a graduate of Macalester College.
She has served on the Boards of General Mills, Macalester College, the Committee for Economic Development, the George C. Marshall Foundation, University of Minnesota Foundation and the National Wildlife Federation.
Justin Adams, Global Managing Director, Lands
Justin Adams is the Global Managing Director, Lands, at The Nature Conservancy, where he leads a broad team of Conservancy staff operating at the intersection of global development and environmental challenges, including sustainable agriculture, forests and climate change, smart infrastructure, and indigenous and communal conservation.
Justin has spent more than 20 years championing innovation and sustainability. Most recently, he has worked as a Senior Advisor to the World Bank where he helped design and raise $300 million for the BioCarbon Fund’s Initiative for Sustainable Forested Landscapes. Previously, Justin was a senior executive at BP for 10 years where he helped to build its $8 billion renewables division, Alternative Energy.
Justin is a Fellow at the Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment at the University of Oxford and is also completing a role as Chairman of Mendel Plant Sciences. He received a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and Management from the University of Bath, in the United Kingdom.
David Banks, Regional Managing Director, Africa
David Banks is the Managing Director for The Nature Conservancy's Africa Region, a position he has held since 2007. He was the first staff person for the Africa Region and helped design and grow the program to its current level. Previously, Banks was the State Director for The Nature Conservancy in Alaska where he was responsible for all actions of the Alaska Chapter. He also worked closely with other senior managers to implement global strategies. David started as an intern with The Nature Conservancy in Indiana and has served in various fundraising, land acquisition, conservation planning, science and land management jobs with the Conservancy since 1994. Prior to his career with the Conservancy, he worked for community forestry programs in Texas and Indiana, and served for two years in Ghana as a Peace Corps volunteer working to restore forests in the West African Sahel. Banks has a BA in Political Science from Baylor University and a Masters degree in Public Administration and Natural Resource Management from Indiana University.
Charles Bedford, Regional Managing Director, Asia Pacific
Charles Bedford was appointed to lead the Conservancy's Asia Pacific Region (including Asia, the Pacific Islands, Indonesia and Australia) in January 2012. Most recently, Charles held key leadership roles where he was instrumental in the creation of the Mongolia program, strategy development for conservation programs in China and Mongolia, and in developing a China Program Board of Directors comprised of influential, high-level Chinese entrepreneurs. Previously, he led the Conservancy’s Colorado Program, where he assisted with the creation of America’s 58th national park, Great Sand Dunes National Park.
Prior to joining the Conservancy, Charles served as Director of the Colorado State Land Board, an organization responsible for the management of 3 million acres of public lands. He also served as Legal Counsel and Environmental Policy advisor to Colorado Governor Roy Romer and was a lawyer in private practice.
Charles is the author of several papers on natural resources law in addition to a new book, “Protecting China’s Biodiversity: A guide to land use, land tenure and land protection tools.” He holds a B.S.F.S. from Georgetown University and a J.D. from the University of Colorado Law School.
Giulio Boccaletti, Global Managing Director, Water
Giulio Boccaletti, Ph.D., is the Global Managing Director, Water. Giulio and his team are working to identify, test and deploy innovative, large-scale strategies that demonstrate how investments in nature will enable us to secure the water we need to prosper. He has deep expertise on the intersection of natural resources, public policy and business conduct.
Prior to joining the Conservancy, Giulio was a partner at McKinsey and Company, where he founded the firm's Global Water Resource initiative and was one of the leaders if its Sustainability and Resource Productivity Practice. He has published and presented on water security, resource economics, and infrastructure finance.
Before joining McKinsey, he was a physical oceanographer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he was a research associate specializing in geophysical fluid dynamics and climate science. His areas of expertise included monsoonal dynamics, thermocline theory, instability theory, the fluid dynamics of turbulence and the general circulation of the ocean.
Giulio holds a master's degree in theoretical physics from the University of Bologna, Italy, and master's and doctorate degrees in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences from Princeton University, where he was a NASA Earth Systems Science Fellow.
Mark Burget, Executive Vice President and Managing Director, North America Region
Mark Burget serves The Nature Conservancy as Executive Vice President and North America Managing Director. He recently returned to the Conservancy after serving as President and Chief Operating Officer of the ClimateWorks Foundation, a global philanthropic network focused on energy and land use policy. Mr. Burget previously served as The Nature Conservancy's Chief Conservation Programs Officer, overseeing country programs in North America, Latin America, Africa, Australia and the Asia-Pacific Region. Over the past twenty years, Mr. Burget also has served the Conservancy as Director of Global Priorities, Director of the California Program and Director of the Colorado Program. He earned both his J.D. and M.B.A. from the University of Virginia and his BA in Government from Dartmouth College.
Maria Damanaki, Global Managing Director, Oceans
Maria Damanaki is the Global Managing Director for Oceans at The Nature Conservancy. She leads a global team focused on transforming how the world manages its oceans, including sustainable fisheries management, large-scale protection and restoration of coral reefs and other ecosystems, coastal resilience, and a first-of-its-kind mapping and quantification of the full value of the world’s oceans to people.
She believes that the only path to lasting, tangible results for a sustainable blue economy is collaboration across public, private and civil sectors – at both global and local levels – while always respecting the needs of both nature and people.
With over 30 years of public service in Europe, Maria most recently served the past four years as European Union Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries.
Mario D'Amico, Chief Marketing Officer
Mario D’Amico is Chief Marketing Officer at The Nature Conservancy, where he oversees membership, digital marketing, corporate marketing partnerships, strategic communications and publishing.
Mario brings to the Conservancy more than 30 years of experience building and leading marketing teams for global entertainment, advertising, and consumer goods companies. He believes that conservation is at a crucial crossroads that demands inspiring and mobilizing a devoted and passionate base of supporters to advance its cause.
Before joining the Conservancy, Mario held a distinguished 15-year career at Cirque du Soleil. As Global Chief Marketing Officer, Mario grew the company’s brand awareness among target audiences by 80 percent, led marketing expansion into new geographies in Latin America, Asia, the Middle East and Australia, and helped to more than double annual revenues from $400 million in 1999 to $1 billion in 2013. During his tenure, Cirque du Soleil grew into an iconic brand that has now produced live entertainment in 40 countries on six continents.
Prior to Cirque du Soleil, Mario held leadership roles at the agencies Publicis/BCP Canada and Scali, McCabe, Sloves Canada—managing clients including Apple, Labatt, Royal Bank of Canada, Pratt & Whitney Canada, Pfizer Canada and L’Oreal. He began his career at Culinar, a flagship of Quebec’s food industry, where he managed marketing for the company’s U.S. operations.
Born in Italy, Mario has lived most of his life in Montreal, Canada, and is fluent in English, French, Italian and Spanish. He attributes his passion for international culture and global marketing in part to extensive travel throughout Southeast Asia during a sabbatical year in 1987.
Mario holds a Bachelor of Commerce in International Marketing from McGill University in Montreal, and serves as an advisor and guest lecturer on McGill’s Marketing and Entrepreneurship Expert Panel.
William Ginn, Executive Vice President, global Conservation Initiatives
As Executive Vice President for the Global Conservation Initiatives Team, Bill Ginn is leading The Nature Conservancy’s work in impact investing, developing markets for natural capital and managing special conservation initiatives. NatureVest, the Conservancy's impact investing division reports to him. Support for NatureVest is provided by inaugural and lead funder, the Robertson Foundation, founding sponsor JPMorgan Chase & Co and the Grantham Foundation for the Protection of the Environment.
During his 18-year tenure with the Conservancy, Ginn has held a number of leadership roles in both U.S. and global programs. The past five years he served as Chief Conservation Officer, in which he led the conservation arm of The Nature Conservancy, consisting of seven divisions spanning over 35 countries, and worked to advance the organization's most significant projects and strategies. As Director of the Global Forest Partnership, he helped the Conservancy protect over three million acres of forest land through dozens of innovative deals. He also has served as Director of the Forest Conservation Strategies Program, Deputy Director of the Eastern U.S./Caribbean Region and Director of the Asia Pacific Region.
A thought-leader of the larger conservation community, Ginn is the author of Investing in Nature, a book about engaging the private sector in conservation.
SANTIAGO GOWLAND, MANAGING DIRECTOR, LATIN AMERICA
In his role as Managing Director for the Latin American Region, Santiago Gowland brings experience in business, law and marketing to lead more than 300 staff based in 16 countries in the implementation of the Region's three strategies: Water Security, Sustainable Food Security and Smart Infrastructure.
Prior, Santiago served as the General Manager for Sustainable Business and Innovation at Nike, Inc., leading work with public and private partnerships that scaled up sustainability strategies and innovation to enable change. He led Nike's collaboration with groups such as NASA, the U.S. State Department and USAID to develop launch.org, which searches for world-changing innovations.
Previously, he worked at Unilever as VP for Sustainable Development and Corporate Brand. Born in Argentina, Santiago received his law degree at Catholic University in Buenos Aires and his M.B.A. at Thunderbird in the United States.
Lynne Zeitlin Hale, Global Managing Director, Oceans
Lynne Zeitlin Hale currently serves as the Global Managing Director for Oceans. Over the last decade, she has led the development of TNC’s marine programs which integrates science and policy work with “in-the-water” conservation and restoration in the United States and more than 30 countries in Asia, Oceana, the Caribbean, South America, and Africa. Areas of focus for the Conservancy's marine programs include Sustainable Fisheries, Integrated Ocean Management, and Climate Adaptation and Disaster Risk Reduction.
Previously, as the Associate Director of the Coastal Resources Center at the University of Rhode Island, Lynne played a leadership role in the design and implementation of integrated coastal management programs in the United States, South America, Asia, and Africa, as well as globally oriented outreach and training programs. From 1978-84 she served as the Senior Fisheries Adviser for the Alaska Native Foundation.
Ms. Hale has an M.S. in biological oceanography from the University of Rhode Island, Graduate School of Oceanography and a B.A. in Zoology from the University of Pennsylvania.
WISLA HENEGHAN, GENERAL COUNSEL
Wisla Heneghan is the Chief Legal Officer for The Nature Conservancy, overseeing the work of the Conservancy’s Legal Department, which provides a full range of legal services in support of the Conservancy’s conservation mission.
Wisla joined the Conservancy in 2013 with over 15 years of extensive legal and management experience in the areas of real estate, environmental issues, international markets, government procurement, mergers and acquisitions and risk management. Prior to joining the Conservancy, Wisla served as Vice President and Associate General Counsel for Staples, a global office products company with businesses in 27 countries throughout North and South America, Europe and Asia. At Staples, Wisla led a large team of attorneys and contract specialists, including the legal teams supporting the company’s retail, business-to-business, and online operations. Prior to joining Staples, Wisla was in private legal practice with the law firm of Goodwin Procter where she served in the firm’s national real estate group, and the law firm of Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo where she practiced in the firm’s commercial litigation, criminal litigation and real estate groups.
Stephen Howell, Chief Financial and Administrative Officer
In May of 1995, Steve Howell joined The Nature Conservancy as controller. He was appointed Director of Finance and Accounting in 1996, Vice President of Finance in 1998, Chief Operations Officer in 1999, Chief Financial Officer in 2002, and currently holds the title of Chief Financial and Administrative Officer.
As CFAO, Howell oversees all aspects of the Finance, Human Resources, Technology and Information Systems, Facilities and Administration, and Internal Audit departments. Under his stewardship, the Conservancy's assets have grown from slightly more than 1 billion dollars in 1995 to more than 5 billion dollars today. Annual revenues and operating expenses have both tripled during this same time and the number of physical locations where the Conservancy operates is nearly five times that of when he joined the Conservancy.
Howell is a member of the AICPA and the Virginia Society of CPA's, has been a frequent speaker at American Institute of CPA national conferences, and serves on the audit committee of the American Psychological Association.
Peter Kareiva, Chief Scientist
As The Nature Conservancy’s Chief Scientist, Dr. Peter Kareiva is responsible for: reporting to the board of directors on the state of science in the Conservancy; mentoring its scientists; identifying opportunities and shortcomings that warrant science attention if the Conservancy is to fulfill its mission; advising leadership on emerging conservation challenges; and serving as one of several external spokespeople for science at the Conservancy. Kareiva's scientific research at the Conservancy focuses on two areas: first, projects aimed at asking whether conservation strategies are indeed delivering what they promise to deliver ("measures of success"); and second, developing credible tools that allow routine consideration of nature's assets (or ecosystem services, such as clean water and flood control) in a way that informs the Conservancy's business choices and how people around the world choose to live everyday.
Dr. Peter Kareiva moved to the Conservancy after 20 years as a university professor and three years working on salmon conservation for NOAA Fisheries. His past publications and research have covered such diverse fields as mathematical biology, fisheries science, insect ecology, risk analysis, genetically engineered organisms, agricultural ecology, population viability analysis, behavioral ecology, landscape ecology and global climate change. Kareiva maintains connections with several universities and still advises students, as well as teaches courses on occasion.
In addition to conducting research, Kareiva believes that general communications and writing are essential in science, and consequently is writing a conservation textbook with Dr. Michelle Marvier of Santa Clara University. [more...]
JOE KEENAN, Executive Vice President, LATIN AMERICA
Joe Keenan is Executive Vice President of The Nature Conservancy's Latin America Region where he leads a staff of more than 320 people based in sixteen countries. Under Keenan’s direction, the Conservancy engages in high-leverage conservation efforts, including designing innovative strategies for water security, sustainable food security, and smart infrastructure, collaborating with indigenous communities, strengthening protected areas, and establishing creative partnerships with the private sector. He is the Conservancy’s lead staff person for the Latin America Conservation Council, which was formed in 2011. Prior to tackling his current role in 2009, Keenan has held several other key positions within the Conservancy, including Managing Director of the South America Conservation Region, Director of the Eastern South America Division, Southern Mexico Director, Director of Conservation Strategy for the Brazil Division, and Manager of the Atlantic Forest Conservation Program.
Glenn Prickett, Chief External Affairs Officer
Glenn Prickett oversees international and U.S. government relations, corporate practices and sustainability efforts, and relationships with leading international institutions and non-governmental organizations for the Conservancy. He joined the Conservancy in January 2010 after two decades working on international environment and development policy.
Prickett comes to the Conservancy after 13 years at Conservation International, where he led efforts to engage the private and public sectors in conservation and sustainability. He founded and led CI’s Center for Environmental Leadership in Business, a division created to engage the private sector in developing solutions to environmental challenges. During his time at CI, he also led the organization’s policy and climate change teams. In 2009, Prickett served as a senior fellow at the United Nations Foundation to help shape core elements of an effective global response to climate change. He also served in the Clinton Administration as chief environmental advisor at the U.S. Agency for International Development, where he coordinated policy and budget for U.S. environmental and energy assistance to developing nations.
Prickett graduated from Yale University in 1988 with a B.A. in economics and political science.
PETER WHEELER, EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT
Peter Wheeler joined The Nature Conservancy as an Executive Vice President in September 2013. He has a long and distinguished career as an investment banker. Until Dec 2010, he was Head of Wholesale Banking, EMEA and Americas for Standard Chartered. Previously, Peter spent fifteen years with Goldman Sachs, initially in New York, then, from 1991, based in Hong Kong, where he established the firm's Investment Banking business for Asia outside of Japan, spending considerable time in India, the People’s Republic of China, South Korea, Indonesia and Singapore. He was the firm’s first Chief Representative in Beijing. He became a partner of the firm in 1994, and returned to the United Kingdom at the end of 1998.
Peter is Chairman of IPValue, a leading business services company that partners with major global companies with deep research commitments to manage their intellectual property commercialization activity. He has served on the supervisory board of Actis, the emerging markets private equity firm, and the board of Climate Change Capital, one of the early innovators among specialist financial service organizations serving the low carbon economy. He is a seed investor in EKO asset management partners, a New York based specialized investment and advisory firm focused on discovering and monetizing unrealized or unrecognized environmental assets. He is an investor in New Forests Company, which operates sustainable forestry concessions in Uganda, Tanzania, Mozambique and Rwanda.
In addition to his business interests, Peter is a co-founder and trustee of New Philanthropy Capital, a charity that advises donors and funders on how to give more effectively through a combination of independent research and tailored advice. He is a Board member of Social Finance, a social enterprise dedicated to the transformation of the third sector’s capabilities by developing access to a range of innovative financing methods. He has served in the recent past on the boards of the Young Foundation, Virgin Unite and Charity Technology Trust. He is a founder of Dasra Social Impact, a Mumbai based project which for the past 7 years has been providing specialist services to developing the skills of leading social entrepreneurs in India.
Janine M. Wilkin, Chief of Staff
Janine Wilkin is currently the Chief of Staff for The Nature Conservancy. Prior to taking on this role in January of 2009, she served in leadership roles in marketing and philanthropy including deputy director of philanthropy where she oversaw fundraising in major markets and as director of field resources where she oversaw field marketing as well as several philanthropy support services for the organization. She also serves on an advisory board for Conservation Leadership through Learning, an innovative Master’s level program in development at Colorado State University.
Prior to joining the Conservancy in 2005, Wilkin worked for America Online (AOL) for eight years where she held a variety of marketing and general management positions. Most recently, she was executive director, brand strategy and prior to that she held several leadership roles where she developed business plans to maximize the user-experience as well as drive advertising revenue for strategic content areas on AOL. Prior to AOL, Wilkin worked for nine years at the Time Life division of Time Warner where she held several direct marketing and new product development roles.
She holds an M.B.A. with a concentration in Marketing from The George Washington University and a B.S. in Psychology from The Pennsylvania State University.