Executive Team Members
Mark Tercek is president and CEO of The Nature Conservancy (TNC), 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 Nature Conservancy. 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, Real Estate Investment Banking, 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 was 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. In 2016, Mark was appointed by President Barack Obama to the president's Advisory Committee for Trade Policy and Negotiations.
Mark is a member of several boards and councils, including Resources for the Future, the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions, Harvard Business School's Social Enterprise Initiative, the China Council for International Cooperation on Environment and Development (CCICED), the Rockefeller Foundation Council on Planetary Health and the Science for Nature and People Partnership (SNAPP), TNC's science joint venture with the Wildlife Conservation Society and the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (NCEAS) at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Mark serves on the Williams College Board of Trustees and was on the finance faculty of New York University's Stern School of Business until 2008.
Drawing on his professional background in the financial sector, Mark also leads TNC’s impact capital initiative and serves as board chair of NatureVest.
Mark earned an M.B.A. from Harvard in 1984 and a B.A. from Williams College in 1979.
Brian McPeek, Chief Conservation Officer
As The Nature Conservancy’s chief conservation officer, Brian McPeek oversees conservation, science, external affairs, and development programs across 72 countries to solve some of the most pressing problems facing people and nature today.
Since his start as a field project director in Colorado, McPeek has contributed to numerous notable conservation achievements, including establishing Great Sand Dunes National Park, advancing a national “buffer lands” program with the U.S. Department of Defense, completing the Forever Costa Rica project, growing Conservancy fundraising nearly 50 percent, and launching a $4 billion campaign – the largest in conservation’s history.
Previously, McPeek was a consultant with McKinsey & Company and served eight years active duty in the U.S. Air Force. McPeek earned a M.A. in national security from Georgetown University and a B.A. in philosophy and economics from Duke University. In 2015, McPeek was a member of the inaugural class of Presidential Leadership Scholars, a program convened by Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush to bring together leaders who share a commitment to helping solve society’s greatest challenges.
WISLA HENEGHAN, CHIEF OPERATIng OFFICER and general counsel
Wisla Heneghan is the Chief Operating Officer and General Counsel of The Nature Conservancy. Wisla oversees the global finance, technology, human resources, internal audit, ethics & compliance, diversity & inclusion, and legal functions of the Conservancy.
Wisla works closely with the President & CEO and the Chief Conservation Officer in the management of the Conservancy. In addition, in her role as General Counsel Wisla provides legal and risk mitigation guidance to the organization and its Board of Directors.
Wisla joined the Conservancy in 2013 and has nearly 20 years of management and legal experience in for-profit and non-profit organizations. Wisla is focused on increasing organizational effectiveness, developing robust frameworks for enabling the organization to carry out its conservation mission, and addressing the challenges of global operations and the deployment of talent, tools, information and other resources to meet the needs of the Conservancy worldwide. Wisla is highly engaged in ensuring an inclusive and diverse workplace and developing the next generation of conservation leaders.
Prior to joining the Conservancy, Wisla served as Vice President and Associate General Counsel for Staples, a $25 billion international office products company with businesses in over 25 countries throughout North and South America, Europe and Asia. While at Staples Wisla focused on complex commercial transactions, developing markets in China, India and Brazil, organizational growth in Europe, environmental issues, and mergers and acquisitions. Prior to joining Staples, Wisla was in private legal practice with the law firm of Goodwin Procter and the law firm of Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo which she joined after graduating from Boston University School of Law.
Wisla was born in Brazil and raised in Brazil and New York. In addition to Portuguese and English, Wisla is also fluent in Spanish.
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.
Kacky Andrews, Director of Conservation Programs, North America
Kacky Andrews works for The Nature Conservancy as Director of Conservation Programs for the North America Region. Her background includes several years at NOAA as Program Manager of the Coral Reef Conservation Program and a post as Executive Director of the Coastal States Organization, a DC-based nonprofit that represents interests of the Governors of the 35 coastal states and territories on legislative and policy issues related to coastal and ocean management.
A native Floridian, Kacky spent eight years with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, where as Director of Coastal and Aquatic Managed Areas, she oversaw the management of nearly 2 million acres of sovereign submerged lands in the state system of Aquatic Preserves and three National Estuarine Research Reserves. Kacky also served as Florida's Co-Trustee in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary, initiated Florida's Coral Reef Conservation Program for southeast Florida, and was lead for the state on the Gulf of Mexico Alliance.
While in Florida, Kacky also spent almost two years with the Conservancy’s Florida Chapter as the Director of Government Relations. She has a B.A. in Economics from Duke University, a J.D. from the University of Florida, and a LL.M. in Environmental and Natural Resources Law from the Northwestern School of Law at Lewis and Clark College.
Jim Asp, Chief Development Officer
Jim Asp joined The Nature Conservancy in the summer of 2015 as Chief Development Officer. Prior to arriving at TNC he served as Senior Vice President and Chief Development Officer at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. Jim has over 30 years of experience in Development, especially building and managing development programs and planning and implementing campaigns. He has worked primarily in higher education and academic medicine, including leadership roles at the University of California, San Francisco; Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center; the University of California, Irvine; and The George Washington University. Jim has co-authored a book and written numerous articles on the role of philanthropy within non-profit organizations and he is a frequent speaker at professional conferences. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Art History from the University of Minnesota and a Master’s degree in Higher Education Administration from The George Washington University.
David Banks, Executive Vice President, Africa, Europe and India
David Banks is the Executive Vice President, Africa, Europe and India. 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.
Matt Brown, Regional Managing Director, Africa
Matt Brown helped start the program in 2007 with a modest budget and just a few staff. Today TNC Africa works in 9 countries and has over 70 staff. TNC, working with great partners, has conserved over 25 million acres of priority wildlife habitat and is protecting critical source waters for urban growth and biodiversity protection.
Prior to this position, Matt spent 10 years working with the US Department of the Interior on US domestic land use planning efforts on public lands in the western US. He worked for the United Nations in Eritrea and was a Peace Corps forestry volunteer in northern Ghana. Matt has a degree from Colby College in Biology/Environmental Science and a Master of Science degree from the School of Public and Environmental Affairs at Indiana University in Environmental Science with a concentration in Water Resources Management.
Giulio Boccaletti, Chief strategy officer & global managing director, water
Dr. Giulio Boccaletti is the Chief Strategy Officer of The Nature Conservancy, as well as its Global Managing Director for Water. In his role as Chief Strategy Officer, Giulio works with other members of the Executive Team to develop the organization’s strategy and apply economic and scientific practice to its conservation agenda. As Global Managing Director for Water, he works with over 200 staff worldwide on advancing the use of water-related natural infrastructure to address issues of economic development and sustainable growth.
Trained as a scientist, Giulio is an expert on environmental and economic sustainability with experience in deploying innovative, large-scale strategies that demonstrate how investing in nature will help us achieve a healthier, more prosperous, more resilient world. He has deep expertise on the intersection of natural resources, public policy and business conduct. Prior to joining The Nature Conservancy, Giulio was a partner at McKinsey and Company, where he founded the firm’s Global Water Resource initiative and was a leader of its Sustainability and Resource Productivity Practice. He has served public and private sector institutions on issues of resource economics in all five continents. Giulio has been a member of the Global Agenda Council on Water of the World Economic Forum (WEF), and is a member of its Global Futures Council on Environment and Natural Resource Security. In 2014, WEF named him a Young Global Leader for his ability to act as a driving force in shaping a sustainable future.
Giulio started his career as a scientist with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology focused on atmospheric and ocean sciences and climate dynamics. He has a master’s in physics from the Università degli Studi di Bologna, and master’s and doctorate degrees in atmospheric and oceanic sciences from Princeton University.
Mark Burget, Executive Vice President, North America
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.
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, Executive Vice President, Latin America
Santiago Gowland is The Nature Conservancy’s Executive Vice President of Global Innovation and Managing Director of the Latin America Region. Santiago serves on TNC’s Executive Team, bringing experience in business, law, marketing and innovation to lead TNC’s global strategies into a larger scale. Santiago also leads more than 300 staff based in 16 countries across conservation strategy teams and supporting functions in Latin America. He has accrued over 15 years of experience in driving business innovation and sustainability strategy, and has applied this knowledge in different sectors, cultures, and regions.
Prior to joining the Conservancy, Santiago was Senior Vice President of Global Corporate Innovation at The Estee Lauder Companies, Inc., where he introduced tools and capabilities to support more than 30 leading companies in the beauty luxury sector. Before that, Santiago led the Systems Innovation function at Nike, Inc. heading work with public and private partnerships that scaled up sustainability strategies and innovation to enable system 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 sustainable business innovations. Prior to Nike, Santiago was VP for Global Sustainable Development and Corporate Brand Strategy for Unilever PLC, leading the integration of sustainable agriculture, fisheries and water corporate programs into all of Unilever’s categories and brands.
Santiago was born in Argentina, and earned his law degree from the Catholic University in Buenos Aires and his M.B.A. at Thunderbird School of Global Management in the United States.
JOE KEENAN, Executive Vice President
Joe was previously Vice President and Managing Director of TNC’s Latin America Region, leading a staff of more than 320 people in 16 countries since 2009. In 2014, he became Executive Vice President and member of the Executive Team, focusing on working with the Latin America Conservation Council, formed in 2011. Prior, he held several other key positions within TNC, including Managing Director of the South America Conservation Region, Southern Mexico Director, Director of Conservation Strategy for the Brazil Division, and Manager of the Atlantic Forest Conservation Program. After attaining a BA in Political Science from Swarthmore College, he worked as a journalist and magazine editor in Mexico for nearly a decade, penning thousands of articles on Latin American politics, economics, and the environment. He was a co-winner of TNC’s Innovation Award in 2001.
Marianne Kleiberg, Regional Managing Director, Europe
Marianne Kleiberg is the Regional Managing Director for The Nature Conservancy Europe. With offices and staff located in Berlin and London, the Nature Conservancy Europe works collaboratively with European governments, development banks, companies, academic institutions and volunteer leaders to strengthen support and mobilize action for conservation and climate change.
Prior, Marianne was the Director of Conservation and Deputy Director for the Conservancy’s Caribbean Program where she oversaw the operations of 6 country offices and led a multi-disciplinary team in the execution of conservation strategies in 16 island nations and territories, including the Caribbean Challenge Initiative, a US$40 million effort to create a network of marine protected areas spanning 21 million acres of coasts and waters. As the director for the Central Caribbean Program, Marianne spearheaded the Conservancy’s efforts in the Dominican Republic, including the implementation of a $10 million grant from USAID, and established new country programs in Haiti and Cuba.
Marianne joined the Conservancy in 1999 and spent nearly a decade managing the Gulf of California Program in La Paz, Mexico. Before joining the Conservancy, she worked as an international development consultant and operations manager of a manganese mining company in Panama. She earned a bachelor’s degree and master’s degree as a Fulbright Scholar in Latin American Studies, with a concentration in political ecology, from the University of Arizona. She’s a native of Norway and fluent in Norwegian, English and Spanish. Marianne is currently based in Berlin, Germany.
Richard Loomis, Chief Marketing Officer
Richard Loomis is The Nature Conservancy’s Chief Marketing Officer (CMO). As CMO, Loomis leads the Conservancy’s global marketing strategy and its deeper investments in digital marketing, social media, engagement, membership and analytics. His role also includes leadership of TNC’s content and publishing teams and external global communications.
Prior to TNC, Richard was Senior Vice President/Chief Marketing Officer for Disney Channels Worldwide in Burbank, CA. At Disney Channels, Loomis played a leadership role in portfolio brand strategy of the Disney Channel, Disney XD and Disney Junior global businesses. He led the worldwide marketing and creative teams, the related marketing and promotional strategies and the digital/social media marketing that supported the branded networks, content and digital platforms. Under Richard’s leadership, the Disney Channels Marketing and Creative team was recognized with many prestigious industry awards including Emmy, PromaxBDA, CTAM Mark and Telly Awards.
Disney lured Loomis from New York to Los Angeles following a 13-year tenure at Viacom/MTV Networks, six years with Comedy Central and seven years at Nickelodeon in various senior executive positions, including Vice President, Marketing and Advertising.
Loomis’ brand roster is well rounded and demographically diverse with high-profile entertainment franchises like High School Musical, Star Wars Rebels, Marvel’s TV properties, South Park, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, The Colbert Report and Chappelle’s Show. He worked with global brands M&M Mars, Bacardi and Tiffany & Company during his agency years in account supervisor roles at Backer Spielvogel Bates Worldwide and McCaffrey & McCall Advertising in New York. He began his career as a media planner at Chicago’s Grant/Jacoby Advertising.
A native of Ontario, New York, Loomis earned a B.A. in international relations from The College of Wooster in Ohio. He is a member of PromaxBDA Board of Directors and served as Corporate Walk Chair for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Light The Night/Los Angeles.
Joyce Ma, China Country Director
Joyce Ma is responsible for running our China Program which, with the support of our China Board, continues to expand its impact both in China and beyond. Joyce brings extensive leadership experience in team management and government relations from her decades-long work in senior-level roles at multinational telecom companies in China. Before joining TNC in 2016, Joyce spent 20 years at Ericsson where she was responsible for the company’s strategic business plan.
Pascal Mittermaier, Global Managing Director, Cities
Pascal Mittermaier is the Global Managing Director for Cities at The Nature Conservancy. He leads a team at the Conservancy focused on transforming how the world’s growing cities harness nature’s power to build resilient, livable, thriving communities for millions of people. TNC’s urban work uses innovative science to find nature-based solutions for some of the biggest challenges of our time: Urban water, air pollution, excessive urban heat, urban sprawl, and biodiversity extinction. TNC’s urban conservation teams work with a wide group of global partners to explore the health benefits of nature in cities, while also focusing on nature as a way to tackle inequality and exclusion.
Before joining TNC, Pascal served as the Head of Sustainability, Europe at Lend Lease, a global property company. In this role, Pascal was responsible for embedding innovative environmental and social approaches across all Lend Lease’s businesses. While with Lend Lease, Pascal also led the Elephant & Castle regeneration project in central London, a 10-year project to develop 3,000 of the UK’s most sustainable homes, as part of the C40 Cities Climate Positive Development Program.
Pascal was a Board Director of FSC UK and a frequent lecturer at Cambridge University’s Program for Sustainable Leadership. Prior to finding his career path in sustainability, Pascal worked at the Swiss healthcare company, Roche, where he was Managing Director of Roche in Canada and Italy.
Pascal is originally from Germany and now lives with his family in Boston. He studied Economics and History at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia and completed his MSc. in Climate Change and Sustainable Development from DeMontfort University in the UK.
Hugh Possingham, Chief Scientist
Aside from his day job, Hugh has a variety of broader public roles advising policy makers, conservation groups and managers by sitting on 15 committees and boards outside the University of Queensland including: The Wentworth Group of Concerned Scientists (founding member), founding editor of Conservation Letters (an international scientific journal), Council of the Australian Academy of Science (recently stepped down), The Myer Foundation Environment committee and several Environmental NGO scientific advisory committees. He and Dr Barry Traill wrote “The Brigalow Declaration”, used by Premier Beattie to halve land clearing in Queensland thereby reducing greenhouse gas emissions in Australia by more than 5% per annum and saving an area the size of Portugal from conversion into farmland.
In November 2016, Hugh became The Chief Scientist of The Nature Conservancy, the world’s largest environmental non-government organization. He will be based in Washington DC and Brisbane.
In 2016, Hugh was elected a foreign associate of the US National Academy of Sciences, the most prestigious science academy in the world. He is one of less than 500 foreign associates – and the only one resident in Queensland.
The Possingham lab uses mathematics to formulate and solve problems for saving plants, animals and ecosystems. They developed the most widely used conservation planning software in the world. Marxan was used to underpin the rezoning of the Great Barrier Reef and is currently used in over 150 countries by over 6000 users – from the UK and USA to Madagascar and Brazil – to build the world’s marine and terrestrial landscape plans. Marxan can be used to achieve conservation outcomes while maximizing development opportunities. In addition, many governments and ENGOs use the group’s research for the allocation of funding to threatened species recovery and solving other conservation conundrums.
Possingham has coauthored 560+ refereed publications covered by the Web of Science (27 in Science, Nature or PNAS). He currently directs two national research centres across 11 institutions ($15 million per annum) and he has supervised (or is supervising) 80 PhD students and 50 postdoctoral fellows.
He has one psychological disorder: a compulsive desire to watch birds.
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.
Aurelio Ramos, General Manager, Latin America
Aurelio began his career with The Nature Conservancy in 2003 as Director of the Northern Tropical Andes Conservation Program, where he led pioneering conservation strategies through incentive-based financing across the Andean landscapes of Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Venezuela. He spearheaded the development of the water funds strategy for Latin America, which created a vehicle for water users to fund upstream conservation projects to improve water quality and quantity. The Water Fund model is spreading rapidly across Latin America and won the Rockefeller Foundation Century Innovation Award in 2013. Aurelio was honored by TNC’s Lesley Freshwater Award in 2011.
Prior to assuming his current position as General Manager of the Latin America Program, Aurelio was Director of Regional Conservation, guiding the design and implementation of four regional strategies: Lands, Water, Oceans and Smart Infrastructure.
Prior to working at the Conservancy, Aurelio worked with Andean Development Bank (CAF), the Biotrade Program of the United Nations Conference of Trade and Commerce, as well as the Humboldt Biological Research Institute. In 2001 Aurelio was named a top entrepreneur in Colombia by the financial magazine Revista Dinero for his work in creating a biotrade program in the Andean countries which combined business practices with the sustainable use of biodiversity. He earned a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from Colombia’s Universidad de los Andes and a Master’s degree in Environmental Economics and Natural Resources from the University of Maryland and Universidad de los Andes. He is also a graduate from Armand Hammer United World College as well as attended environmental graduate studies in Oslo University, Norway.
Lynn Scarlett, Co-Chief External Affairs Officer
Former Deputy Secretary and Chief Operating Officer of the U.S. Department of the Interior, Lynn Scarlett is co-Chief External Affairs Officer at The Nature Conservancy and Global Climate Strategy Lead. In these roles, Scarlett directs all policy in the United States and the more than 70 countries in which TNC operates. Scarlett also served at Interior as the Acting Secretary of the Interior in 2006. While Interior’s Deputy Secretary, Scarlett initiated and chaired the Department’s Cooperative Conservation Working Group and its first-ever Climate Change Task Force. She is author or co-author of publications on climate change adaptation; ecosystem services; large landscape conservation; and science and decision making. She chairs the Science Advisory Board of NOAA, recently co-chaired the Landscape Conservation Cooperatives Council established in 2014 by the U.S. Department of the Interior and is a member of the National Academy of Sciences Sustainability Roundtable. She received her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in political science from the University of California, Santa Barbara, where she also completed her Ph.D. coursework and exams in political science and political economy.
Heather Tallis, global managing director, lead scientist for strategy innovation
Heather Tallis is a recognized scientific leader in bringing human well-being considerations into conservation. Previously, Tallis served as the first female lead scientist in the history of the Conservancy. She directed the Human Dimensions Program, an initiative that incorporates ecological, social and economic sciences so that human well-being is integrated into conservation practice from the planning stage forward.
Tallis has developed, planned and executed many innovative research programs at the Conservancy, engaging with field programs and driving organizational change. Her work on the ground is aimed at better understanding and managing key connections between nature and people, from pioneering new science for using watersheds as a key part of water infrastructure for cities, to advancing both the theory and practice of how nature’s benefits can be part of mitigating development impacts. She is currently exploring new areas for conservation, including the connection between nature views and elementary school test scores, connections between time poverty and conservation, and opportunities to address major public health issues through conservation. Tallis co-led the re-design of the Conservancy’s science-based approach to conservation, embedding key human well-being considerations throughout the planning, implementation and evaluation processes.
Prior to joining the Conservancy in 2013, Tallis was lead scientist at the Natural Capital Project, where she led the development of a pioneering software application, InVEST, that reveals the ecosystem services costs and benefits of land and water use decisions.
Tallis has worked with governments, corporations and non-governmental organizations to use science about nature’s benefits to inform a host of policy and planning decisions. She has guided research with diverse stakeholders across the globe and holds leadership and has held expert advisory roles with the World Bank and the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services.
She is a frequent speaker at national and international conferences on these topics. She has published widely in the scientific literature in journals ranging from the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences to Ecological Economics. Last year, she led a group of 240 authors in a comment in the journal Nature calling for more inclusive and more diverse conservation – resulting in a petition signed by thousands of scientists all over the world. This is an area she continues to be dedicated to, hosting events and driving research and programs towards shifting the face and focus of conservation.
Tallis holds a Ph.D. in zoology from the University of Washington and Master’s degrees from the University of Otago and University of California, Santa Cruz, where she is now adjunct faculty. She is co-editor of the book Natural Capital: The Theory and Practice of Mapping Ecosystem Services, released by Oxford University Press in 2011.
Mike Tetreault, Chief People Officer
As Chief People Officer, Mike leads a new People Office charged with going beyond traditional human resource functions to diversify, engage, and empower our impressive staff to achieve even greater outcomes. Mike oversees the administrative functions of human resources as well as leadership development, talent mobility, and knowledge management. He serves on the Executive Team.
Mike brings great experience to his new role, along with a deep commitment to helping others learn and grow. He has held a number of leadership positions at TNC over the past 18 years, most recently as State Director of the Maine Chapter since 2004, also serving as Lead Director in Northeastern U.S. since 2010. From 1998 – 2004 he worked in Colorado as the chapter's Yampa River Project Director and Northwest Colorado Program Manager. Mike also led the process to create the North America Division with Brian McPeek, chaired the steering committee for the Conservation by Design refresh in 2015, and was the first sponsor of the Nature's Pride Employee Resource Group.
Mike has an M.S. in Natural History from the University of Vermont, a B.A. in Environmental Studies from Brown University. He lives with his wife, Neera, and daughter, Wren and their myriad pets in Bath, ME.
Marc Touitou, Chief Information Officer
Mr. Touitou has 30 years of international experience. His track record includes strategy, governance, digital transformation, integration, cyber security, business process management, smart infrastructure, innovation, applications development, geospatial information systems, advanced business intelligence & predictive analysis, as well as leading a project management office practice.
Marc specializes in business process improvements, has a passion for the sustainable development goals, and has had the opportunity to serve a variety of businesses both in Europe and the United States.
An accomplished change leader, he joined The Nature Conservancy in November 2017 as Chief Information Officer (CIO), also leading the Process Improvement Team. Marc was previously CIO of the World Health Organization and prior to that served as CIO of the City & County of San Francisco, where he partnered with the many technology companies of the Silicon Valley to enable the “smart city.”
From late 2002 to 2011, Marc was Senior Vice President & CIO at ASML semiconductors with global responsibilities for all aspects of I.T.
Mr. Touitou was born and raised in France and is a French-American citizen. A graduate of the Fox School of Business and Management, Temple University, Executive MBA (class of 2000), he also attended the Wharton School for Organizational Behavior Studies as well as the UTC (University of Technology of Compiegne in France), where he studied Information Management and Strategy.
Marc lives in Alexandria, Virginia, with his wife, Nadine.
PETER WHEELER, EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT
Peter Wheeler joined The Nature Conservancy (TNC) as a London-based Executive Vice President in September 2013. He has a long and distinguished career as an investment banker having been the Head of Wholesale Banking for EMEA and Americas for Standard Chartered and previously a partner and Managing Director at Goldman Sachs, working initially in New York in the 1980s, then based in Hong Kong, where he established and led the firm's Investment Banking business for Asia outside of Japan from 1991 to 1998. He was the firm’s first Chief Representative in Beijing.
In his post-banking business life, Peter was a seed investor and Board member of Climate Change Capital until it was sold to Bunge in 2012. He sits on the Board of Rift Valley Corporation, a dynamic African agro-industrial enterprise which owns and operates a diversified portfolio of subsidiary companies across seven operating platforms in three countries in Tanzania, Mozambique and Zimbabwe. He is a founding partner of Silk Road Finance Company, a Hong Kong-based and Chinese- led investment and advisory boutique working with Chinese State-owned and private companies in their activities outside of China in pursuit of the official New Silk Road policy. He is an active seed investor in a personal capacity in innovative new companies in the renewables and low carbon economies.
Peter is a co-founder and trustee of New Philanthropy Capital, a charity that works as a consultancy and think tank, dedicated to helping charities and funders achieve the greatest impact so the lives of the people they serve are improved. 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 serves on the Advisory Council of the Oxford Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment Stranded Assets Program. He has recently served on the Board of the Young Foundation (as Chair) and Virgin Unite.
Heather Wishik, Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer
Heather R. Wishik is the Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer for The Nature Conservancy, overseeing strategies that leverage the diverse backgrounds and experiences of its staff, trustees and other stakeholders to improve conservation outcomes, broaden the constituency for nature, help TNC take a lead in diversifying the conservation movement and strengthen the Conservancy’s engagement with a wide diversity of communities, people and organizations. She previously worked with The Conservancy as lead strategy implementation consultant to the Executive Team Diversity Steering Committee.
Heather has extensive experience as a consultant and coach on diversity and inclusion, global organization development, and leadership development. In almost 20 years of private practice she helped clients on five continents develop and implement global diversity and inclusion strategies using the Leveraging Difference™ approach. She is also an experienced leadership and identity management coach, training designer and group process facilitator.
Since 2001, Heather also has been a Batten Research Fellow at the Darden Graduate School of Business, University of Virginia, where she has collaborated with faculty on global leadership research and the development and writing of teaching cases. Her previous work includes service as Assistant Vice President and Director of Global Diversity and Inclusion for The TJX Companies, Inc., supporting their operations in the UK, Germany, Canada and the USA. She also has taught at the undergraduate and graduate levels at Dartmouth College and Vermont Law School.
With Darden Professor Martin N. Davidson, Heather co-authored three chapters of Davidson’s book “The End of Diversity as We Know It: Why Managing Diversity Efforts Fail and How Leveraging Difference Can Succeed” (Berrett-Koehler, 2011). She is a published theorist and research scholar in the fields of organizational behavior, inclusive leadership and leveraging difference, as well as in women and the law.
Heather earned an Honours degree in Industrial and Organizational Psychology and a Certificate in Group Process Facilitation from the University of South Africa. She has group relations consultation training from the Tavistock Institute, holds a B.A from Goddard College and a J.D. summa cum laude from the University of San Diego School of Law. She has conducted research about trust among peers in teams under the supervision of faculty at University of South Africa.
Heather lived in Karachi, Pakistan as a teenager while her parents consulted to the Ministry of Health. She was a Peace Corps health education trainee in Niger and from 1999-2004 she lived in and operated her consulting practice from Amsterdam, in The Netherlands. She works in English and speaks conversational French and Dutch. Heather currently makes her home with her spouse, Susan Donegan, in Boca Raton, Florida.
Leonard Williams, Chief Finance Officer
As The Nature Conservancy’s Chief Finance Officer, Leonard is accountable for managing and directing the organization’s finance, investment and business services functions, while also supporting the design and execution of the company’s overall strategy and providing the leadership and management necessary to ensure that the Conservancy has support programs, operational controls, financial administrative and reporting procedures, financial systems and human capital in place to ensure financial strength, operating efficiency, and competitive advantage in support of the conservation mission.
Leonard joined the Conservancy in 2018 and has over 20 years of financial, operational and technology management experience in mission-focused and value-driven organizations. Leonard is a trusted advisor, leader and big-picture thinker, with substantial experience in controlling costs, identifying opportunities that create value, advancing organizational culture and driving innovation with a passion for building loyal and motivated teams that collaborate and contribute to a culture of success.
Prior to joining the Conservancy, Leonard served as COO and CFO for QED Group, a global consulting organization, CFO for NeighborWorks America, a premier player in the domestic affordable housing space, CFO for Pact, Inc., a leading global NGO, and COO and CFO for Verizon Federal Systems where he was accountable for delivering on all aspects of federally contracted information technology, telecommunications, and infrastructure requirements.
Leonard holds an MBA in Finance and Decision Sciences from the Wharton Graduate Business School, a MSEE in Computer and Information Technology and a BSE in Computer Science from the University of Pennsylvania, and he has completed post-graduate studies at MIT and the Darden School’s Graduate Executive Education Program. A frequent speaker at professional conferences, in 2014 he was named first runner-up as NFP CFO of the Year by the Washington Business Journal and Practitioner of the Year by the industry group InsideNGO.
Having played football and basketball in high school and college, Leonard is an avid sports fan who closely follows the Vikings, Eagles and Raiders NFL football teams and the Clippers and Lakers NBA basketball teams. A renowned cook/foodie, he also enjoys an eclectic set of musical styles, ranging from soulful house and trance to EDM. Leonard resides in the Maryland suburbs of Washington, D.C., and is the proud grandparent of five.
Heather Zichal, Managing Director, Corporate Engagement
Prior to joining TNC, Heather served as the President of her DC-based consulting firm, focused on building out corporate sustainability programs for Fortune 500 companies and providing strategic advice to environmental NGOs.
Heather also served as the lead Obama White House aide on energy and climate issues. In her role as the Deputy Assistant to the President for energy and climate change, she was instrumental in the design and execution of the Climate Action Plan and a champion of smart, pragmatic climate policy. From negotiating the country’s first ever mercury standard to the historic fuel economy standards, Heather was able to break the mold by bringing industry to the table and advancing policies with broad stakeholder buy-in from states, businesses, environmental groups and more. She got to know Obama when she was the environmental policy lead on his 2008 campaign. She also has extensive experience on Capitol Hill, including working as former Massachusetts Democratic Sen. John Kerry’s legislative director and for two Members in the House of Representatives, including Rep. Frank Pallone Jr.
She serves as the chair of Airbnb Inc.’s sustainability council and on the corporate board of Cheniere Energy as well as several non-profit boards and advisory councils. Heather is an Iowa native and graduate of Rutgers University.