The Emerging Wildlife Conservation Leaders (EWCL) training program helps jump-start early career conservation professionals through a combination of skills training, networking opportunities with peers and established practitioners and the completion of a global wildlife conservation initiative. EWCL training addresses a long-standing need for capable leaders in the conservation field who are equipped with a full arsenal of skills to launch well-rounded and successful conservation campaigns and build successful leadership careers in the wildlife conservation profession.

The two-year training program entails a week of training each year, as well as a final two-day training and graduation ceremony. Throughout the two years, participants will work in teams to develop, implement and evaluate a wildlife conservation project in the United States or globally.
EWCL participants will benefit from:

  • Mentoring opportunities by seasoned conservation professionals;
  • Networking opportunities for emerging leaders and their representative organizations to build solid peer support for long-term successful careers;
  • Open “cross-pollination” opportunities among different NGOs, foundations, private and public sector groups involved in wildlife conservation, thereby breaking down traditionally existing competition and communication challenges between different sectors of the wildlife conservation community;
  • Hands-on comprehensive conservation campaign experience including all implementation aspects from inception to completion and evaluation; and
  • Leadership and skills training in wide-ranging topics relevant to real-work experience of early career professionals.


class 7 group photo with giraffes

EWCL class members will come from a wide variety of backgrounds and experiences in the conservation field. While there is no age requirement or experience ceiling for participants, it is expected that the nominated class leaders will be emerging leaders in the wildlife conservation field with roughly three years experience behind them and at least 15 more years of professional wildlife conservation potential ahead of them. Selected participants will also demonstrate the ability to benefit from an assortment of training activities covering everything from the basics of creating a conservation campaign to the details of various niche professional aspects within the conservation field.