Dr. Jeff Parrish is The Nature Conservancy’s Global Managing Director for Protect Oceans, Lands and Water, responsible for TNC’s vision, ambition, and direction on efforts across all our geographies to protect terrestrial, freshwater, and marine biodiversity. In his role, he is our organizational champion for protected areas and our work with communities and indigenous people to ensure expanded protection, management, resiliency and durability of nature on a warmer and more crowded planet. He began his conservation career at TNC in 1996, where he worked for 12 years supporting field programs and expanding TNC’s global impact in new geographies. He held various leadership positions as a conservation scientist and protected areas leader, and he helped develop Conservation by Design and other planning approaches still in use today.
Prior to his return to the Conservancy, Jeff was the Director for the Patagonia Parks Permanence Project, an initiative involving The Pew Charitable Trusts and Tompkins Conservation to reach an approximately $230 million deal with the Government of Chile to manage and permanently finance the 17 National Parks of its Patagonia region—and ensure Patagonia’s communities benefit from their protection. Before this role, Jeff served as Vice President for Conservation at the Wildlife Conservation Network (WCN), where he supported grassroots conservation heroes saving wildlife around the world. At WCN, Jeff expanded the $23 million Elephant Crisis Fund, launched the Lion Recovery Fund, created a travel industry partnership for lion landscape conservation, and secured two of the largest cause-marketing corporate partnerships for wildlife in history, with Tiffany & Co and with Disney through its 2019 release of The Lion King.
Previously, Jeff was a Managing Director at the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) where he launched initiatives with the global travel industry and developed concepts for funders such as Google and Leonardo DiCaprio. Prior to WWF, Jeff led the Freedom to Roam (FTR) coalition, where he developed partnerships and campaigns to promote wildlife corridors and the connected lands and waters in North America. Jeff lives in Denver, Colorado with his wife and two daughters.