(ALL RIGHTS) April 2016. The Conservancy's Cascade Head Preserve in North of Lincoln City, Oregon. The Conservancy bought Cascade Head in 1966 and continues to protect the critical habitat for native prairie grasses, rare wildflowers and the Oregon silverspot butterfly. Photo credit: © The Nature Conservancy (Devan King)
Cascade Head Cascade Head Preserve, north of Lincoln City, Oregon © Devan King/The Nature Conservancy

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The Nature Conservancy Appoints Three New Members to its Global Board of Directors

New board members bring wide-ranging global conservation, financial, and management experience to the organization

The Nature Conservancy announced the recent appointments of John Bernstein, Michelle J. DePass, and Edwin Macharia as members of its global Board of Directors. They were elected to their first three-year terms on October 15, 2020.

“As The Nature Conservancy continues our mission to tackle some of the world’s biggest environmental challenges with creative, bold, scientifically-based, and scalable solutions, we need creative, bold, and strategic thinkers like John, Michelle, and Edwin to help us accomplish our goals,” said Jennifer Morris, TNC’s CEO. “Our new board members bring diverse backgrounds and global thinking to these roles. Their expertise—alongside the expertise of our current board members—will strengthen our efforts to make a lasting, positive difference around the world.”

“I am honored to welcome these distinguished individuals to our global Board of Directors,” said Board Chair Fran Ulmer. “Their appointments add strengths, skills, and new perspectives to the overall composition of the board and reflect our ongoing commitment to ensure that our global board reflects the diversity of the places where we work in order to create a world in which people and nature thrive.”

John Bernstein (London, England) is a partner and chair of the growth equity investment committee at London-based investment firm, Generation Investment Management, which focuses on sustainable investing. He was formerly a managing director and head of EMEA at General Atlantic, the global growth investor, where he served as a member of the global Investment and Executive Committees. John is on the board of two sustainable financial services companies, and is a board member of the NamibRand Nature Reserve in Namibia – one of the largest private reserves in Southern Africa. John is a long-serving member of The Nature Conservancy’s Africa Advisory Council, which he has chaired for the past four years, and is passionate about scaling solutions to the twin crises of biodiversity loss and climate change. He holds a MA in economics and law from Cambridge University.

Michelle J. DePass (Portland, OR) is the president and CEO of Meyer Memorial Trust. Previously, she served as dean of the Milano School of International Affairs, Management and Urban Policy at The New School in New York and director of the Tishman Environment and Design Center, shepherding both the program and the university toward environmental stewardship and a greater focus on social justice. She joined the Milano School from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) where she served as Assistant Administrator for International and Tribal Affairs (2009 – 2013). At EPA, she was responsible for all dimensions of environmental policy between the agency, other nations, federally recognized Tribal Nations, and multilateral institutions and donors. Prior to her appointment at EPA, Michelle was a program officer at the Ford Foundation with a portfolio focused on environment and community development, environmental health and justice, and Indigenous environmental rights. Michelle holds a BA in political science and government from Tufts University, a MPA in public administration from Baruch College, and a JD from Fordham University School of Law. Michelle is Trustee for The Nature Conservancy’s New York chapter, where she has played a key leadership role in promoting justice and equity in conservation work. From 2019-2020, Michelle was part of The Nature Conservancy’s CEO Search Committee.

Edwin Macharia (Nairobi, Kenya) is the Global Managing Partner at Dalberg Advisors where he oversees the firm’s strategy and operations worldwide. Prior to his election by peers to this role, he served as the firm’s Africa Regional Director where he was instrumental in building its footprint, talent, and capabilities in Africa. Edwin began his career at McKinsey & Company in New York where he worked with financial services and pharmaceutical companies. He then joined the Clinton HIV/AIDS Initiative (later renamed Clinton Health Access Initiative) where he held multiple senior roles focused on improving the health and livelihoods of rural communities. In 2008 he founded Dalberg’s Nairobi office and serves a broad range of clients across strategy, operational efficiency, and program implementation. Edwin holds a degree in biology from Amherst College and has been recognized as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum. He is a member of The Nature Conservancy’s Africa Advisory Council and is passionate about ensuring that conservation efforts are inclusive and relevant to local communities and national government agendas.

The Nature Conservancy is a global conservation organization dedicated to conserving the lands and waters on which all life depends. Guided by science, we create innovative, on-the-ground solutions to our world's toughest challenges so that nature and people can thrive together. We are tackling climate change, conserving lands, waters and oceans at an unprecedented scale, providing food and water sustainably and helping make cities more sustainable. Working in 79 countries and territories, we use a collaborative approach that engages local communities, governments, the private sector, and other partners. To learn more, visit www.nature.org or follow @nature_press on Twitter.