Board of Directors, Chairs

Jeff Flocken
International Fund for Animal Welfare

Nina Fascione
Defenders of Wildlife

Board of Directors

Kelly Aylward
Wildlife Conservation Society

Sara Barth
Sempervirens Fund

Judy Braus
North American Association for Environmental Education

Renee Bumpus
Houston Zoo

Onnie Byers
Conservation Planning Specialist Group

Amielle Dewan
Impact by Design

Claire Martin
The Walt Disney Company

Shaun Martin
World Wildlife Fund

Javier Mateo
Center for Tropical Agriculture

Errol Mazursky
Environmental Leadership Program

David Mizejewski
National Wildlife Federation

Krishna Roy
Wild Earth Allies

Julie Scardina
SeaWorld & Busch Gardens Conservation Fund

Paul Thompson
Ewaso Lions



Jeff Flocken, Chair
Jeffrey Flocken is the North American Regional Director for the International Fund for Animal Welfare where he leads the organization’s team of legislative professionals advocating for U.S. and Canadian policy initiatives on behalf of wildlife conservation and animal welfare, including efforts on behalf of species such as whales, elephants, and lions. Before this appointment, Mr. Flocken worked for five years for the US Government, where he focused on international species conservation policy, outreach, and global conservation grant programs. Mr. Flocken has served as a consultant on numerous movies, books and television shows addressing wildlife conservation topics. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Jaguar Conservation Fund, the Steering Committee for the IUCN Tapir Specialist Group, and serves as a Special Advisor to the GRACE Grauer’s Gorilla Sanctuary. Mr. Flocken is also the founder and Board co-Chair of the Emerging Wildlife Conservation Leaders initiative which mentors and provides campaign training for up-and-coming leaders in the wildlife field. He is coauthor of the award-winning book “Wildlife Heroes”, published by Running Press in March 2012.

Nina Fascione, Chair
Nina Fascione is currently Vice President of Development at Defenders of Wildlife in Washington, D.C., where she oversees the organization’s efforts to raise funds from major and planned gifts, foundations and corporations for strategic conservation work. From 2010 to 2012, Nina served as Executive Director of Bat Conservation International, where she guided the Austin, Texas-based organization in its efforts to protect bats and their habitats around the world. Nina had previously been Vice President for Field Conservation Programs at Defenders of Wildlife, where she managed Defenders’ largest division, dedicated to endangered species and habitat conservation. She has also held positions with the Wildlife Habitat Council and the Zoological Society of Philadelphia. Nina serves on the steering committee of the Human-Wildlife Conflict Collaborative and was co-chair of the American Zoo and Aquarium’s Bat Taxon Advisory Group from 1991-97. Nina has a Master of Applied Anthropology and a B.A. in Anthropology from the University of Maryland, and edited the book “People and Predators: From Conflict to Coexistence.”

Kelly Keenan Aylward
Kelly Keenan Aylward runs the Washington Office of the Wildlife Conservation Society and has headed up their Federal Affairs Program for the past five years. She works on domestic and international conservation policy and corresponding funding issues with the US Congress, the Administration and key stakeholders. Prior to working at the Wildlife Conservation Society, Kelly worked as the Director of Government Affairs for the National Environmental Education & Training Foundation in Washington, DC. As Legislative Counsel to Rep. Michael McNulty (D-NY), Kelly’s Capitol Hill work focused on appropriations, the environment, energy, education, agriculture, and animal welfare issues. After earning her Juris Doctor at Albany Law School of Union University, Albany, New York she clerked for the New York State Supreme Court Appellate Division specializing in environmental quality review and land use planning appeals. Kelly was admitted to the Bar in New York State and United States District Court in 1998. Kelly and her husband Kevin have two sons Conner and Kyle.

Sara Barth
Sara Barth is the Executive Director for the Sempervirens Fund, where she leads the 116-year-old land trust in protecting and caring for the redwood forests of the Santa Cruz Mountains – a mission the organization continues since its initial protection of lands that became Big Basin Redwoods State Park. Prior to joining Sempervirens she was the regional director for The Wilderness Society’s California/Nevada office, providing oversight of the organization’s work to protect the Sierra Nevada, Yosemite, the Black Rock Desert, Big Sur, the California Desert, and other public lands in the two states. Sara has also served as an environmental advisor in Washington, D.C. to U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA). In that capacity, she worked extensively on federal legislation governing management of our national forests, parks and wildlife refuges, wilderness designation, wildlife conservation, offshore oil and gas drilling, and ocean and fishery restoration. Sara’s previous professional experience also includes work for the National Wildlife Federation and the World Wildlife Fund as an advocate for federal wildlife and public land protections. She earned an undergraduate degree from the University of Pennsylvania and a master’s degree in environmental science from the University of Michigan’s School of Natural Resources and the Environment.

Judy Braus
Judy Braus joined the North American Association for Environmental Education in December 2011 as Executive Director. She has been actively involved in national and international environmental education efforts for more than 25 years, with a focus on strategic planning, facilitation, leadership development, partnerships, publishing, fundraising, and diversity and inclusion. She has published extensively and has won numerous awards for her work in education and conservation. Prior to coming to NAAEE, Judy was Senior Vice President of Education and Centers with the National Audubon Society. In that role, she oversaw all education activities, which included working with more than 50 Education Centers, 480 Audubon Chapters, 24 state programs, and Birdlife International, an international conservation organization dedicated to protecting birds, wildlife, and people. While there, Judy’s drive and dedication led to the development of TogetherGreen, a $20 million alliance between Audubon and Toyota. Before joining Audubon, Judy was the Director of Education for World Wildlife Fund-US (WWF), where she managed a variety of education initiatives, including the award-winning Windows on the Wild biodiversity education program.

reneeRenee Bumpus
Renee Bumpus is the Sr. Director of Wildlife Conservation Programs for the Houston Zoo where she guides and enhances over 30 international and local wildlife conservation partnerships.  She began her wildlife conservation career in British Columbia, Canada, in 1999 working at an endangered species conservation center and participating on local government recovery teams for critically endangered species. It was there that she witnessed the Vancouver Island Marmot overcome all odds and rebound from the brink of extinction through collaborative recovery and reintroduction efforts. In 2010, she joined the Houston Zoo’s Wildlife Conservation Program where she focuses on connecting and strengthening conservation efforts for increased wildlife saving results. Renee currently serves on the board of Human Wildlife Conflict Collaboration and acts in advisory capacities for National Geographic’s Photo Ark, the Tapir Specialist Group and the Malagasy managed NGO, G.E.R.P., in Madagascar.

Onnie Byers
Onnie earned her Ph.D. in reproductive physiology from the University of Minnesota and completed a post doctoral fellowship at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Zoo in Washington D.C. Onnie joined the IUCN Species Survival Commission’s Conservation Breeding Specialist Group, now known as the Conservation Planning Specialist Group, in 1991 as a Program Officer and was promoted to the position of Executive Director in 2005, and appointed Chair in 2011. In addition to leading the organization, Onnie oversees its global climate change initiative and shares with CPSG’s Program Officers responsibility for design and facilitation of a wide range of Species Conservation Planning and other CPSG workshops. Onnie is dedicated to the transfer of these tools and processes to conservationists around the world. Onnie was integral in the establishment of the Amphibian Ark and continues to serve on its executive committee.  She also serves on the SSC Steering Committee, the Species 360 Board of Trustees, and the Conservation and Sustainability Committee of the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums.

amielle-dewan-profile-photoAmielle DeWan 
Amielle DeWan is the Executive Director and Co-Founder of Impact by Design where she works with non-profits to implement best practices in designing and implementing whole systems approaches to impact-oriented monitoring, evaluation and adaptive management.  Amielle’s specific expertise and specialties include:  monitoring and evaluation, research design, training design, facilitation, institutional learning and adaptive management, behavior change, project management, and leadership development.  Previously, Amielle was the  Senior Research and Monitoring Scientist for the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) where she was responsible for the development and implementation of monitoring and evaluation across IFAW’s programs. In this role, Amielle also designed and implemented adult and learner-centered training programs on behavior change, conservation planning, and research.   Previous to her work at IFAW, Amielle served as the Senior Director for Conservation Research and Monitoring at Rare where she was responsible for evaluating and improving the impact of environment-focused behavior change campaigns across the globe. As an expert in strategic planning, monitoring, and evaluation, she also plays an active role in the Conservation Measures Partnership.  Amielle serves on a number of professional working groups and boards including: the IUCN Species Conservation Planning Subcommittee, the Environmental Leadership Program (board chair), and the Open Standards Planning Guidance Review Committee.  Amielle received her PhD in Wildlife Ecology, Statistics, and GIS from Cornell University in 2008. She also holds a Master’s degree in Conservation Biology and Public Policy from the State University of New York, Albany, and a BA in Biology from SUNY Binghamton.

claire-martin-profile-photoClaire Martin
Claire Martin is the Senior Manager of Strategic Philanthropy for Corporate Citizenship at The Walt Disney Company. She leads the company’s multi-million dollar philanthropy efforts focused on reversing the decline of wildlife and increasing the time kids spend in nature through the work of the Disney Conservation Fund (DCF). Claire is responsible for developing funding strategies and evaluating the impact of the DCF. She is also responsible for leveraging DCF programs and relationships to drive awareness, reputation and brand value across the company, collaborating with Disney ABC Television Group, Disney Consumer Products & Interactive, Disney Studios, ESPN and Walt Disney Parks and Resorts.  Previously Claire worked as a Conservation Educator at The Seas at Epcot. Prior to joining Disney, she worked with Global Vision International to establish a Social Ecology Program for Bontebok National Park in South Africa. Claire also serves as chair of the board for the Gorilla Rehabilitation and Conservation Education Center in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Claire holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Science and Policy from the University of Maryland.

Shaun Martin
Shaun Martin is WWF’s senior director for climate change adaptation and resilience and has more than 20 years’ experience in capacity building, training and leadership development. In his current role he helps influence conservation and development policy and practice by bringing climate change and ecological dimensions to the broader adaptation and resilience discussion. He also helps WWF programs become “climate-smart,” making sure they are prepared to address the inevitable consequences of climate and their effects on biodiversity, people, and the ecosystems that they rely upon. He has designed and delivered training on climate change and adaptation to more than 1500 people across the globe. Shaun has a bachelor’s degree in chemistry and a master’s degree in economic development from the University of Pittsburgh. He currently serves on the board of directors for the School of Fields Studies. His hobbies are photography, yoga and genealogy.

Javier Mateo
Javier is a Research Fellow at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (Panama) and doctoral candidate at McGill University (Montreal, Quebec, Canada). His research explores the forces and trade-offs that drive and constrain forest conservation in complex multicultural and multifunctional landscapes, and how these link to climate change. Prior to embarking on his Ph.D., Javier served as the Director of the Environmental Leadership & Training Initiative (ELTI), a joint program between the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies and the Smithsonian Institute. In this position, he led the development of an innovative, action-oriented capacity building and leadership program for Latin American and Asian policy-makers and conservation practitioners. Prior to ELTI, Javier served as Country Program Manager and Director of the Osa Site Program for The Nature Conservancy in Costa Rica, and as Coordinator of the Environmental Science and Policy Program of the Organization for Tropical Studies, also in Costa Rica. Javier has over 15 years of experience in providing technical and managerial leadership in natural resource management, biodiversity conservation, field-based training and capacity-building, environmental assessments and ecological research in developing countries. Javier has previously worked and lived in Costa Rica, the United States, Honduras, Colombia, the Philippines, India, Singapore, Canada, France and Panama. He is an avid surfer and art collector.

errol-profile-photoErrol Mazursky
As Executive Director of the Environmental Leadership Program, Errol manages the day-to-day operations of the organization in addition to the recruitment and selection process of ELP’s regional networks, oversees the development and planning of fellowship programming and maintains ELP’s national network of 700+ Senior Fellows. Previously, Errol was a public health fellow at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency where he worked on community outreach programs and the development of international cohort studies to investigate the environment’s impact on children’s health and development. Errol served in the U.S. Peace Corps as a health volunteer in The Gambia, West Africa and was a Crisis Corps Volunteer in New Orleans, LA where he contributed to the response effort of Hurricane Katrina. Errol currently serves on the Board of the Emerging Wildlife Conservation Leaders Program, and is a former Board Director of Greenbelt Homes Inc., and the Greenbelt Development Corporation. In 2011 Errol was awarded a TogetherGreen Fellowship in recognition of his expertise in leadership and network weaving and in 2013 received an Emerging Leader Grant from the Claneil Foundation.

David Mizejewski
David Mizejewski is a naturalist, media personality, blogger and author with National Wildlife Federation, where he educates and inspires people to protect wildlife and connect with nature. He holds a degree in Human and Natural Ecology from Emory University. David hosted and co-produced Animal Planet’s Backyard Habitat, a television series that shows people how to transform their yards and gardens into thriving habitats for birds and other local wildlife. He has made numerous appearances the Today Show, Good Morning America, Conan, Access Hollywood, The Wendy Williams Show, The Martha Stewart Show, NPR, Fox News, CNN, HGTV, Sundance Channel and others discussing wildlife and conservation. David is the author of Attracting Birds, Butterflies and Other Backyard Wildlife, and is a contributor to Gardening How-To and Birds & Blooms magazines. He blogs for Animal Planet and Huffington Post.

Krishna Roy
Krishna Roy is the Senior Advisor for Wild Earth Allies. She has worked in the nonprofit sector for 25 years as a consultant and in senior management positions specializing in development, marketing, event planning, and public relations. She was the Senior Director of Communications and Marketing for the Wolf Trap Foundation, and the Center for Marine Conservation’s Vice President for Communications and Marketing. Other assignments include The Nature Conservancy, New York University, and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation. In addition to raising more than $60 million for various causes, she has been instrumental in developing groundbreaking environmental media and marketing campaigns involving public-private partnerships with Discovery Communications, Black Entertainment Television (BET), Telemundo, Anheuser-Busch Companies, Exxon, Arm and Hammer, Chevrolet, among others. Her experience includes directing communications activities for large institutions, including program design, media relations, publications, placements, and branding. In 1984, Krishna worked on the Oscar nominated film The Garden of Eden, and won a Telly in for co-producing the documentary “Killing our Oceans.” Krishna was a principal in designing and launching “Save the Tiger Fund,” an international grantmaking and awareness campaign, to protect tigers in the wild.

Julie Scardina
Julie’s passion for wildlife and wild places is rivaled only by her commitment to encouraging others to make a difference for the world we share. Julie is a speaker, teacher, mentor and active participant in conservation. She maintains a position on the board of the SeaWorld & Busch Gardens Conservation Fund, consults with a wide variety of conservation, animal welfare and education organizations and utilizes her expertise in animal training and care to improve the lives of animals worldwide. Uniquely, Julie holds the title as the most frequent guest on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno and appeared on NBC’s Today Show more than 100 times discussing animals and conservation. Julie also traveled the globe for years with Jack Hanna, appearing in his weekly show Animal Adventures. Julie, along with Jeff Flocken, co-authored the beautiful and inspiring book, Wildlife Heroes, highlighting 40 people around the globe who have dedicated their lives to saving species.

paul-thompson-profile-photoPaul Thomspon
Paul Thomson is the Director of Strategy and Development for Ewaso Lions, a nonprofit organization that conserves lions and other large carnivores by promoting coexistence between people and wildlife in Kenya. He handles program design, strategic growth, marketing, communications, and fundraising. In addition to his work with large carnivores, Paul works to address the illegal trade of pangolins, an endangered scaly mammal. He co-founded Save Pangolins and is a vice chair of the IUCN SSC Pangolin Specialist Group. His career path was greatly shaped by the Emerging Wildlife Conservation Leaders program, in which he participated in Class 2. Paul is an advisor to the Kinship Conservation Fellows program, which provides training in environmental leadership and market-based tools for conservation. He received his Master’s from the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies where his research focused on minimizing human-carnivore conflict. Previously, Paul has worked with the African Wildlife Foundation. He holds a BSc from the University of Michigan’s School of Natural Resources & Environment.