Our People

Catherine Burns

Managing Director, Impact Management, NatureVest

Santa Cruz, California

Catherine Burns head shot

Catherine Burns Conservation Director, Sustainable Water Impact Fund © TNC

Areas of Expertise

environmental science, freshwater conservation

Media Contact

Andrew Tingley
ph. +1 917-270-1313


Dr. Catherine Burns is the Managing Director, Impact Management for The Nature Conservancy’s NatureVest team, leading efforts to bring TNC’s expertise in conservation science and practice to inform institutional investment partnerships focused on forestry, agriculture and tourism investments that aim to deliver conservation impact alongside returns. Cat joined TNC in 2010 and previously served as the Senior Conservation Director for NatureVest, leading a team focused on providing conservation science to inform the efforts of TNC’s investment partnerships to maximize conservation impact. Cat also previously served as Associate Director of TNC California’s Water Program, and as the Director of Science for TNC’s North Carolina Chapter.

Prior to joining TNC, Cat held faculty positions at Duke University and the University of Maine, publishing her conservation research in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Ecology, Biodiversity and Conservation, and BioScience, among other journals. Cat has extensive international conservation experience including work in Australia, Africa and Central and South America. Dr. Burns earned her Ph.D. in Ecology & Evolutionary Biology in 2004 from Yale University where she was a National Science Foundation Fellow focusing on forest management and small mammal ecology, and her B.S. in Biology from Emory University.

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