Saving Nature Announces the Appointment of Three New Board Members

 Adds significant expertise in conservation, technology, and carbon financing.

DURHAM, N.C.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–#biodiversity–Saving Nature announced today the appointment of two new members to the Management Board and one new member to the Science Board.

Lucas Joppa, Microsoft’s first Chief Environmental Officer, and Alex Dehgan, CEO of Conservation X Labs, and Chief Strategic Officer of Thylacine Biosciences have agreed to serve as Directors on the Management Board to amplify the organization’s impact in preventing the loss of biodiversity, fighting climate change, and rescuing communities from environmental destruction.

Ecologist and author Carl Safina, the first Endowed Professor for Nature and Humanity at Stony Brook University, and founder of the not-for-profit Safina Center has joined the Science Board to ensure Saving Nature’s conservation portfolio focuses on science-driven priorities for habitat restoration.

“We are thrilled about having three of the leading voices in conservation join Saving Nature in our mission to use science and technology-driven conservation approaches to addressing the issue of deforestation and its consequences for biodiversity, climate change, and human health,” said Stuart Pimm, Founder and President of Saving Nature. “Their insights and experience in conservation science and technology further enhances our unique approach to building capacity for local conservation organizations for practical, effective, and lasting solutions to deforestation.”

About Alex Dehgan

Alex Dehgan is the CEO of Conservation X Labs, and Chief Strategic Officer of Thylacine Biosciences. He is also Professor of the Practice of Sustainability and Global Futures Fellow at Arizona State University. Alex previously served as the Chief Scientist of USAID, with rank of Assistant Administrator, and created the Agency’s “DARPA for Development”, and designed and launched the US Government’s Grand Challenge for Development program. Dr. Dehgan also worked in multiple positions in the Office of the Secretary at the State Department, including in Iran, Afghanistan, Syria-Lebanon, and the broader Islamic world, focused on advancing science for diplomacy, planetary health, and national security. Dr. Dehgan served as the Special Adviser for Nonproliferation as part of the Coalition Provisional Authority, where he established and ran the redirection program for former nuclear, chemical, and bioweapon scientists.

Alex was also the founding country director of the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Afghanistan Program and helped create Afghanistan’s first national park. Alex is the author of the book, The Snow Leopard Project, which describes the effort, which won the Gold 2020 Nautilus Book Prize.

Dr. Dehgan holds a Ph.D in Evolutionary Biology from the University of Chicago, a J.D. from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law, and a B.S. with Distinction from Duke University. Alex has won multiple awards from the Departments of State and Defense, was selected by AAAS Science Policy Fellowship as one of 40@40 honorees, was named an Icon of Science by Seed Magazine, received the World Technology Award, and in 2020, was given the University of Chicago’s Medical and Biological Alumni Association’s highest honor.

About Lucas Joppa

Dr. Lucas Joppa is Microsoft’s first Chief Environmental Officer, leading the development and execution of the company’s sustainability strategy across its worldwide business. In this role, he drives Microsoft’s core commitment to sustainability through ongoing technology innovation, program development, policy advancement, and global operational excellence. With a combined background in both environmental science and data science, Dr. Joppa is committed to using the power of technology to advance a growing movement to address the world’s sustainability needs. Dr. Joppa leads Microsoft’s ambitious plans to become a carbon-negative, water-positive, zero-waste company and to build a new planetary computing platform that will transform the way we monitor, model, and manage Earth’s natural systems.

Recognized by Fortune magazine in its “40 Under 40” list, Dr. Joppa is a uniquely accredited voice for sustainability in the tech industry. With a Ph.D. in Ecology from Duke University and extensive publications in leading academic journals such as Science and Nature, Dr. Joppa brings together subject matter expertise in both environment and technology. He is recognized as one of the world’s most highly cited researchers, is an Associate Editor in Chief for the Ecological Society of America’s EcoSphere journal, an honorary Fellow at the UN Environment Program World Conservation Monitoring Center and serves on the boards of organizations dedicated to environmental sustainability around the world. In 2021, he was appointed to the Advisory Council and Board for the Theodore Roosevelt Genius Prize, awarded by the US Fish and Wildlife Service to encourage technological innovations that advance its mission. The Future Tech Awards named Dr. Joppa to its 2021 Future 50 list of people driving innovation in consumer technology.

Previously, Dr. Joppa was Microsoft’s first Chief Environmental Scientist. As part of his work, he founded Microsoft’s AI for Earth program—a $50 million cross-company effort dedicated to delivering technology-enabled solutions to global environmental challenges. Dr. Joppa remains an active scientist, speaking frequently on issues related to artificial intelligence, environmental science, and sustainability. Along with his Ph.D., Dr. Joppa holds a B.S. in Wildlife Ecology from the University of Wisconsin and is a former Peace Corps volunteer to Malawi.

About Carl Safina

Ecologist and author Carl Safina’s earned a PhD in ecology from Rutgers University for his studies of seabird foraging. He is the first Endowed Professor for Nature and Humanity at Stony Brook University, and founder of the not-for-profit Safina Center. His writing explores what is at stake as humans continue to alter the living world, and what those alterations mean for wild places and for living beings. His work combines broad scientific understanding, emotional connection, and a moral call to action.

His writing has won the MacArthur “genius” prize; Pew, Guggenheim, and National Science Foundation Fellowships; the National Academies’ Communication of Science Award for best book of 2003, a Lannan Foundation book award, Orion Magazine’s Book of the Year, the Merck Literary Award; and the John Burroughs, James Beard, and George Rabb medals. Safina was host of the 10-part PBS series, Saving the Ocean on PBS.org. Two of his books have been New York Times Notable Books of the Year, including his 2020 book Becoming Wild; How Animal Cultures Raise Families, Create Beauty, and Achieve Peace. More at CarlSafina.org and SafinaCenter.org.

About Saving Nature

Dr Stuart Pimm founded Saving Nature in 2019 to reverse the threats to biodiversity, climate resiliency, and local communities caused by the loss of the world’s great forests. Saving Nature builds on the exceptional success with SavingSpecies, an organization Pimm founded in 2007 to prevent extinctions.

Saving Nature focuses on the most biodiverse places on Earth where species face imminent threats of extinction. We intervene to reconnect fragmented and isolated ecosystems to eliminate barriers and bottlenecks for biodiversity, revitalize ecosystem services, buffer human and wildlife populations, and absorb carbon from the atmosphere.

Importantly, Saving Nature partners with well-established local conservation groups to acquire and restore degraded land with native trees to create strategic wildlife corridors. Our local partners own the land, manage the protected areas, engage the local communities, work with government organizations, and participate in scientific research. Saving Nature provides resources to build local capacity for conservation and develop future leaders with practical insights into restoring habitat, saving species from extinction, recolonizing species, and protecting ecosystem services for local communities.

Contacts

Erin Willigan

Executive Director

erinwilligan@savingnature.com
www.savingnature.com

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