Paula J. Ehrlich, DVM, PhD, is President & CEO of the E.O. Wilson Biodiversity Foundation, whose mission is to reimagine the way we care for our planet through actionable scientific research that supports communities in their stewardship of biodiversity.
Dr. Ehrlich is also co-Founder of the Half-Earth Project and has led the development of the Half-Earth Project Map, a global, spatially-explicit, and taxonomically comprehensive map of species, which informs how well conserved places are protecting species and identifies priorities for future conservation. She is founder of Half-Earth Day, which brings together world-wide participants from across disciplines to share perspectives and thought leadership on how to achieve Half-Earth and ensure the health of our planet for future generations.
Dr. Ehrlich has over 30 years of strategic scientific management and research expertise, and diverse academic, non-profit, and corporate leadership experience. Her current work embodies the hopes of the greatest naturalist of our time, E.O. Wilson.
Walter Jetz, MSc, PhD is a Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and Adjunct Professor in the School of Forestry and the Environment at Yale University. Dr. Jetz is Director of the Yale Center for Biodiversity and Global Change, which links scientists, students and practitioners engaged in the environment, biological, informatics, policy or health aspects and implications of global biodiversity change. Dr. Jetz leads the Map of Life at Yale University, which utilizes geospatial species distribution data and analytics to guide where we have the best opportunity to conserve the most species.
Dr. Jetz’ work addresses patterns and mechanisms of changing biodiversity distribution and the resulting implications on conservation and environmental management. His research combines remote sensing, phylogenetic, functional, and spatiotemporal biodiversity data with new modeling approaches and informatics tools. Dr. Jetz is particularly interested in how environmental, ecological, and macroevolutionary mechanisms combine to determine the co-occurrence of species and the structure of species assemblages.
In addition to his work at Yale, Dr. Jetz chairs the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) Task Group on Biodiversity Indicators and is Co-Lead of the GEO BON Working Group on Species Distributions. Dr. Jetz was previously a professor of biological sciences at the University of California San Diego. Dr. Jetz earned his MSc in Integrative Bioscience and PhD in Zoology from the University of Oxford.
Lorri Paro, MBA, is a Carolinas CFO Partner with TechCXO LLC, a national fractional C-Suite contracting firm based in Atlanta, GA. Lorri brings more than 30 years of financial and operational leadership with a proven track record of execution, having served as CFO in R&D, manufacturing, service, and not-for-profit companies. Lorri provides immediate value to companies through strategic business plan development, process streamlining, and cash flow optimization. Client companies are frequently long-term engagements managing finance, tax, cash, business valuation, budgeting, modeling, audit, and government compliance. Additionally, Lorri has collaborative experience with many areas of business operations including H/R, supply chain, contracts, and sales. Lorri also has unique and extensive experience with federal funding (i.e., government agency contracts and grants).
Prior to her work as a consultant, Lori worked in industry finance roles for ~15 years in the areas of manufacturing, professional services, and medical devices. In 2019, Lorri also co-founded a drug-development company that is developing science against certain diseases with significant unmet medical needs, such as ALS and Parkinson’s Disease.
Lorri holds an MBA and BA from the Jenkins Program at North Carolina State University, and is a North Carolina Certified Public Accountant.
Brooks Bonner serves as the E.O. Wilson Biodiversity Foundation’s Program Director, collaborating with scientists, scholars, and communities working around the globe to advance biodiversity science. His work centers on amplifying the reach and utilization of the Foundation’s Half-Earth Project Map and related products.
Brooks worked as the Director of Community Engagement for the Organization for Tropical Studies (OTS), an organization that E.O. Wilson helped found. In this role, he led the processes to develop and implement strategies for effectively engaging three stakeholder groups– Science Pioneers, Science Participants, and Science Stewards–at local, national, and global scales. At OTS, he also led the management of undergraduate, field-based study abroad programs in Costa Rica and South Africa, and helped to streamline management of Faculty-Led Academic Groups. Brooks also previously worked with Nature & Culture International in the Peruvian Amazon region of Loreto, contributing to the first co-managed regional conservation network established in Peru.
Brooks has a MA in International Environmental Policy from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey, and is a graduate of San Francisco State University, where he pursued a B.A. in Intercultural Speech Communication.
Amy Tidovsky, leads fundraising in support of the foundation’s mission, strategies and projects.
Prior to her current role, Amy spent more than 20 years with The Nature Conservancy (TNC), where, in positions at state, national, and global levels, she gained deep experience in major and principal gifts fundraising, capital campaigns, board development, philanthropy training and consultation, and nonprofit leadership and management. Most recently, Amy served as North America Regional Director of Development for the Conservancy. Career highlights include securing philanthropic support for a US-Indonesia debt-for-nature swap, a MacArthur Climate Challenge to promote climate and energy policy in all 50 states, and establishing a North America Cities Network with a social equity focus. In this role, she also developed a volunteer leadership board for TNC in North America.
Amy has also worked as a reporter in Colorado and an editor in the Office of Public Relations of Louisiana State University. She holds Master’s degrees in Comparative Literature and in Journalism and a BA in English Literature from LSU.
Dennis Liu, PhD, is an internationally recognized expert in science education. Dr. Liu directed the production of educational media at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, and before that with Video Discovery and Microsoft. He’s worked with scientists, education specialists, graphic designers, animators, and filmmakers to produce an array of educational products that have had a lasting impact on science education. Dr. Liu has managed cross-disciplinary teams devoted to assessing and assuring the educational impact of media products, including professional development and community building. He’s been an executive producer and editorial advisor on over a dozen film projects for theater, broadcast television, large screen, and digital science programs aimed at educational audiences and the general public.
Dennis studied zoology at the University of Wisconsin, earned a PhD in Biology from the University of Oregon, and then conducted research and taught in the Department of Genetics at the University of Washington. He has a passion for explaining diverse science to diverse audiences, and has advised on numerous museum exhibits and media projects. He wrote a longtime feature for the journal Life Sciences Education.
Bill Finch works with the E.O. Wilson Biodiversity Foundation and the Half-Earth Project to address conservation issues throughout the southeastern United States, including creation of a Mobile-Tensaw Delta national park unit in Alabama. Bill is founding director of Paint Rock Forest Research Center located within one of the most biologically diverse forests in North America, and founding partner of the Alabama River Diversity Network working toward the establishment of a Black Belt National Heritage Area Act.
Bill was formerly the Conservation Director for The Nature Conservancy in Alabama, Director of the Mobile Botanical Gardens, and a managing editor with the Mobile Press-Register. Bill has received numerous regional and national awards for his writing on conservation and environmental issues and is the author of Longleaf, Far As the Eye Can See.
Piotr Naskrecki, PhD, is an entomologist, conservation biologist, author, and photographer, based at the Museum of Comparative Zoology at Harvard University. He currently directs the E.O. Wilson Biodiversity Laboratory at Gorongosa National Park in Mozambique where he trains a new cadre of Mozambican biologists and conservationists, and helps rebuild the park, which suffered during the recent civil war in that country. Dr. Naskrecki created and administers the Half-Earth Project Fellowship in Taxonomy and Biodiversity Exploration which has several graduates working throughout the African continent. His scientific interests focus on the evolution of communication and sound production in insects and other animals, and the phylogenetic reconstruction of insect relationships. He is the author of over 50 scientific, peer-reviewed papers and book chapters.
Dr. Naskrecki’s popular writing and photography captures both the beauty and vital roles of insects, often critically important members of the planet’s ecosystems. He is one of the founding members of the International League of Conservation Photographers and his photographs and nature writing have been published in a number of national and international publications, including The Smithsonian Magazine, Natural History, National Wildlife, National Geographic, BBC Wildlife Magazine, BBC Knowledge, Terre Sauvage, Time magazine, Ranger Rick, and many others. He is the author of The Smaller Majority, A Window on Eternity with E.O. Wilson, Relics, and his most recent title, Hidden Kingdom, which showcases the diverse insect fauna of Costa Rica.
Board of Directors
David J. Prend, MBA, is a Managing General Partner and co-founder of RockPort Capital Partners, a Boston- and San Francisco-based venture capital firm focusing on investments in technologies in the energy, mobility, and sustainability sectors.
David currently serves on the Boards of RockPort portfolio companies Achates Power, Enki Technology, Enlighted Inc., Glasspoint Solar, InVisage Technologies, and Solar Universe. In addition, he serves as a Director of the National Advisory Council for the Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), where he is also Chairman of the Solar Technology Review Panel. David served as a Member of the Board of Directors of the National Venture Capital Association from 2007 to 2011.
David began his career in the energy industry as an engineer at Bechtel where he worked in the area of advanced energy technologies. From 1984 to 1987, he worked at Amoco in the Treasurer’s Department, and in the chemical and upstream oil and gas subsidiaries. He later joined Shearson Lehman in their Natural Resources Investment Banking Group where he advised companies in the energy, mining, and forest products industries. In 1990, he joined Salomon Brothers where he was promoted to Managing Director and headed the Global Energy Investment Banking Group. In 1998, Mr. Prend co-founded RockPort Partners, a merchant bank specializing in the energy and environmental sectors and in 2000 he co-founded Rockport Capital Partners.
David received a BS in Civil Engineering from the University of California at Berkeley and an MBA from Harvard Business School.
Marcia Angle is an environmental advocate and preventive medicine physician, who has published and worked in the area of international reproductive health. Marcia was medical director at IntraHealth, focusing on Sub-Saharan Africa for two decades. In North Carolina, she served as Medical Director of the Orange County Health Department and taught environmental epidemiology at Duke University’s School of the Environment. Dr. Angle has a BA from Harvard University, an MD from Duke University, and an MPH from the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health in Chapel Hill, NC.
Dr. Angle currently serves on the Board of Directors of four non-profit organizations: E.O. Wilson Biodiversity Foundation, Nature and Culture International, Rachel’s Network, and the Southern Environmental Law Center. She also serves on four Advisory Councils: Duke University’s Superfund Research Center, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Gillings School of Global Public Health, The North Carolina Conservation Network, and Reserva La Esperanza.
Mark Burget, JD, MBA, is the Managing Partner of Tumalo Creek Partners, LLC, a mission-driven partnership dedicated to supporting the future of life. Mark also is Vice President for Strategic Initiatives at Re:wild.
For 25 years, Mark served The Nature Conservancy, including as Chief Conservation Programs Officer, North America Managing Director, California Director, and Colorado Director. Mark also served as President and Chief Operating Officer of the ClimateWorks Foundation, a $1B+ global philanthropic network focused on energy and land use policy.
Mark earned both his JD and MBA from the University of Virginia and his BA in Government from Dartmouth College. Mark has served on numerous boards, most recently including the Energy Foundation (U.S. and China) and Allotrope Partners. He also has served on the boards of the European Climate Foundation, the International Council on Clean Transportation, the Climate and Land Use Alliance, the Institute for Industrial Productivity, and Bio-Logical Capital, LLC.
Lee Ann Daly is a globally recognized American marketing and media executive. She provides strategic, trans-media, creative advice and action plans to a broad range of early-stage and established private and public companies. At ESPN, Reuters and Thomson Reuters Markets she was a member of the executive committee, holding the positions of Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer, and leading global marketing and communications teams.
She was North American Chairman of The Talent Business, a UK based executive search firm. She is a member of the Dean’s Board of Advisors at The Media School at Indiana University where she graduated with a BA in Journalism. She is a Distinguished Alumni Fellow at The Kelley School of Business at Indiana and is a graduate of The French Culinary Institute and University of Santa Monica.
She has been a member of the board at Avenues For Justice in New York City, President and Chairman of the Board of The American Marketing Association and is a special advisor to the founder of MFK: Haiti. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband and sons.
Stephen Lockhart, MD, PhD, was most recently the Chief Medical Officer for Northern California-based Sutter Health, a not-for-profit health system caring for three million patients—or one in every 100 Americans. Prior to being named CMO, Stephen served as Sutter’s regional Chief Medical Officer for the East Bay, Chief Administrative Officer at the St. Luke’s campus of Sutter’s California Pacific Medical Center (CPMC), and Medical Administrative Director of surgical services at CPMC.
His passion for equitable health outcomes has fueled his leadership efforts to provide equitable care across the Sutter system, which resulted in the design and implementation of a health equity program and Health Equity Index (HEI) across Sutter in 2017. Using a precision medicine-like approach, the HEI provides Sutter with a deeper understanding of health outcomes among different patient populations.
In 2017, Stephen was named to Governor Brown’s Advisory Committee on Precision Medicine as part of California’s continued effort to use advanced computing and technology to better understand, treat and prevent disease.
A Rhodes Scholar, Stephen earned his Master’s in economics at Oxford University, and received his MD and PhD degrees from Cornell University. He is a board-certified anesthesiologist. An avid climber and backpacker, Stephen has a long-standing passion for providing environmental science education and introducing the U.S. National Parks to an increasingly diverse population of people. He serves on the boards of the ECRI Institute, REI, the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, and is chairman of Parks California – a new statewide nonprofit dedicated to supporting California’s parks and public lands.
Dinesh Nandan is an experienced corporate attorney who advises on various legal issues ranging from corporate, governance, regulatory and contract matters. Dinesh spent the first decade of his career as corporate in-house counsel for Providian Financial, a consumer bank headquartered in San Francisco. He then joined Education Finance Partners, a startup focused on private student loans, as General Counsel and Secretary. He later became founding executive of Home Value Protection, Inc., a Kleiner Perkins-financed company which developed and sold insurance to secure home values against market decline. Most recently, Dinesh served as General Counsel and Secretary of Humu, Inc., a human resources startup co-founded by a friend and former Googler.
Dinesh studied Microbiology and History at U.C. Berkeley (A.B. 1990), lived in Beijing, China where he worked as a university lecturer, and completed a law degree at the University of San Francisco (J.D. 1996). During his time at the University of San Francisco, Dinesh worked at the Asia Foundation in Phnom Penh, Cambodia supporting their democracy-building initiatives with the newly elected democratic government.
During his distinguished career spanning six decades, musician and songwriter, Paul Simon, has produced timeless masterpieces, such as Bridge Over Troubled Water, Still Crazy After All These Years, and Graceland, all of which garnered GRAMMY Album of the Year. Mr. Simon was awarded the inaugural Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song, which recognizes the profound and positive effect of popular music on the world’s culture.
Mr. Simon is also a recipient of the Kennedy Center Honors, and, in 2006, was named one of Time magazine’s “100 People Who Shape Our World.” In June 2017, net proceeds from Mr. Simon’s month-long U.S. concert tour were donated to benefit the Half-Earth Project, an initiative of the E.O. Wilson Biodiversity Foundation.
Charles Smith is a serial entrepreneur who has launched four companies and one foundation. He is perhaps best known for developing the royalty-free licensing model for digital images which today accounts for over 95 percent of worldwide image sales. Mr. Smith also co-founded Knowledge Factor, a company that pioneered the Amplifire protocol, which demonstrably accelerates learning and enhances long-term retention. He has served on the Director’s Cabinet at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, the world’s oldest and largest organization devoted to understanding the dynamic between land, ocean, and atmosphere.
Smith currently serves on the board of Nature and Culture International, a position in which he is applying his time and expertise toward the goal of saving remaining biodiversity hotspots on the planet before they disappear forever. To date, Nature and Culture has conserved nine million acres in the most diverse ecosystems of Latin America.
Jorgen Thomsen is the Director of Climate Solutions at the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. Prior to joining the foundation in 2009, Thomsen spent 14 years with Conservation International as Senior Vice President of the organization’s Conservation Funding Division and as Executive Director of the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund, which included leading a $260 million grant making and partnership development facility for civil society organizations in the most biodiversity-rich areas of the world.
Before this he was the chief executive of TRAFFIC, an organization that monitors trade in natural resources, and he held positions at WWF and IUCN, as well as in the Danish Ministry of Environment. Thomsen has a Master’s of Science in zoology and also attended law school at the University of Copenhagen in his native Denmark.
Keith Tuffley is a Vice Chairman and Global Co-Head of the Sustainability & Corporate Transitions Group at Citigroup, leading Citi’s sustainability engagement with its corporate clients. In 2014 until 2017, he was the CEO of The B Team, an NGO composed of 24 CEO’s of global companies, leading entrepreneurs, and civil society leaders, to drive a better way of doing business. He was an active participant in the Paris Climate Agreement process by helping to mobilize CEO’s in support of ambitious climate targets and assisting The B Team companies to make bold “net-zero by 2050” commitments.
Keith was a Managing Director, Head of Investment Banking, and Partner of Goldman Sachs in Australia, and was also based in London as Head of the Industrials group across Europe. Keith is the Founder of Switzerland-based impact investing company, NEUW Ventures SA, Chairman of the Global Footprint Network, Governor of WWF-Australia, a Global Ambassador to the Wilderness Foundation Global, a Senior Advisor to WILD11, and a member of the Rewilding Europe Circle. He was previously a Director of the Great Barrier Reef Foundation, Bush Heritage Australia, and We Mean Business.
Jeffrey W. Ubben, MBA, is a Founder, Managing Partner, and the Portfolio Manager of Inclusive Capital Partners. Mr. Ubben is a retired Founder of ValueAct Capital, where he was Chief Executive Officer, Chief Investment Officer, and Portfolio Manager. Prior to founding ValueAct Capital in 2000, Mr. Ubben was a Managing Partner at Blum Capital Partners for more than five years. Mr. Ubben is a director of Enviva Inc., Exxon Mobil Corporation, and Fertiglobe plc. He is a former director of The AES Corporation, AppHarvest, Nikola Corporation, former chairman and director of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Inc., and a former director of several other public and private companies.
Mr. Ubben serves on the boards of Duke University, the World Wildlife Fund, The Redford Center and the E.O. Wilson Biodiversity Foundation, and formerly served as Chair of the National Board of the Posse Foundation for nine years. Mr. Ubben has a BA from Duke University and an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.
Dawn Wright, MS, PhD, is Chief Scientist of the Environmental Systems Research Institute (aka, Esri), a world-leading geographic information system (GIS), software, and data science company. Core to Esri’s mission is to inspire and enable people to positively impact their future by connecting them with the geoanalytic knowledge needed to make the critical decisions shaping the planet. Hence, Esri believes that geography is at the heart of a more resilient and sustainable future. As Chief Scientist, Dr. Wright is responsible for strengthening the scientific foundation for Esri software and services, while representing Esri to the international scientific community. She also serves on the Half Earth Council and the E.O. Wilson Biodiversity Foundation Board of Directors, and is Professor of Geography and Oceanography at Oregon State University where she has been a faculty member since 1995.
In the early 1990s, Dawn was the first female of African descent to dive to the ocean floor in the deep submersible Alvin. On July 12, 2022 she became the first person of any gender and of African descent to dive to Challenger Deep, the deepest point on Earth, and to successfully operate a sidescan sonar at full-ocean depth. This was accomplished in the deep submersible Limiting Factor.
In April 2021 Dr. Wright was elected to both the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts & Sciences. She holds an Individual Interdisciplinary PhD in Physical Geography and Marine Geology from UC-Santa Barbara, an MS in Oceanography from Texas A&M, and a BS cum laude in Geology from Wheaton College (Illinois). Follow her on Twitter @deepseadawn.
Paula J. Ehrlich, DVM, PhD, President (Ex-officio)
Lori Paro, Treasurer (Ex-officio)
Paul Sennott, Secretary (Ex-officio)
Piotr Naskrecki, Gorongosa National Park, Half-Earth Chair
Gregg Carr, Gorongosa Restoration Project
Sean B. Carroll, HHMI
Laura Turner Seydel, Turner Foundation
Kris Tompkins, Tompkins Conservation
Mathis Wackernagel, Global Footprint Network
Jeff Sachs, UN SDSN
John Seager, Population Connection
Mike Phillips, Turner Endangered Species Fund
Robin Kimmerer, SUNY
Louie Psihoyos, Oceanic Preservation Society
Sylvia Earle, Mission Blue
Dawn Wright, Esri
Board of Advisors
Edward O. Wilson, Chairman (1929–2021)
Gretchen Daily, Stanford University
Sylvia Earle, Mission Blue
Carol Greider, Johns Hopkins Institute of Basic Biomedical Sciences
Eric R. Kandel, Columbia University
Amory Lovins, Rocky Mountains Institute
Gregory T. Lucier, NuVasive
James B. McClintock, The University of Alabama at Birmingham
Sir Paul Nurse
Stuart L. Pimm, Duke University
Steven Pinker, Harvard University
Peter H. Raven
Larry G. Rosenstock, High Tech High
Jeffrey Sachs, Columbia University
Daniel Schrag, Harvard University Center for the Environment
Holden Thorp, Science
The E.O. Wilson Biodiversity Foundation and its Half-Earth Project are grateful for the financial support of the following individuals, corporations and foundations.
Alisann and Terry Collins Foundation
Marcia Angle and Mark Trustin
Ann M. Bragg Fund
R. David and Kathryn V. Arnold
Todd and Diane Baker
Beardsley Family Foundation
Bonovich Giving Trust
Lee Ann Daly
David and Lucile Packard Foundation
Anthony and Shauna Doerr
Mac and Sophie Ehrhardt
Samuel Feinsmith and Sarah-Bess Dworin
Finca La Donaira
Steven Remmer Fox
Morley and Deana Golden
Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation
Katherine Gould-Martin and Robert L. Martin
Edwin and Geoffrey Hamlyn
James and Linda Hargrove
Caryl and Mickey Hart
Joseph Geoffrey Hook
Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation
James M. Stone and Cathleen D. Stone Family Foundation
Victoria and Stanford Keziah
Sylvia Le Blancq
Kristin Hettermann Lindblad and Sven-Olof Lindblad
Liu Family Fund
Stephen Lockhart and Karen Bals
Paul and Karen Montgomery
Curtis and Edith Munson Foundation
Dave and Sarah Nigh
Payne-Brodeur Giving Fund
H.F.W. Perk and Leslie Dean Price
Ariel Phillips and Gwyndaf Jones
Beth and Keith Richtman
Jonathan and Diana Rose
James A. Rosen
Roger Sant and Doris Matsui
Jay and Carolyn Short
Sony Music Group
Fred and Alice Stanback
Sulentic Family Foundation
Thomas and Sara de Swardt
The Burt’s Bees Foundation
The Ellis Family Charitable Fund
The Hearst Foundation
The Mayer Trust
The Nathan M. Ohrbach Foundation
The Vermont Community Foundation
Amy Tidovsky and Jim McDuffie
Jeff and Laurie Ubben
David Welborn and Ann Hunter-Welborn
John Taylor Williams