Aileen Lee, Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation

TITLE: Chief Program Officer

FUNDING AREAS: Wild salmon ecosystem conservation

CONTACT: Visit PeopleFinder for email and phone number (paid subscribers only)

PROFILE: Aileen Lee brings a very strong skill set to the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, having earned an undergraduate degree in Political Science and East Asian Studies from Yale University, and a law degree from Harvard. Before she joined the foundation, Lee led a team at McKinsey & Company that helped clients to adopt effective operational strategies across a number of different industry sectors. She has also spent time in the past as chair of the board of the Environmental Grantmakers Association and treasurer of the Western Conservation Foundation, and currently volunteers in Los Altos Hills as a member of their Environmental Initiatives Committee.

Her foundation bio shares: 

The foundation's conservation program includes the Andes-AmazonMarine Conservation and Wild Salmon Ecosystemsinitiatives, as well an interlinked portfolio of initiatives focused on market-based approaches to conservation (the Conservation and Financial MarketsForests and Agricultural Markets, and Oceans and Seafood Markets initiatives). Aileen’s previous roles at the foundation include developing and leading the Wild Salmon Ecosystems Initiative and the Conservation and Markets initiatives.

Prior to joining the foundation, Aileen was an associate principal at McKinsey & Company, where she led client engagements in strategy, operations and organizational effectiveness across a wide range of sectors. She currently serves on the boards of the Windward Fund and the Climate and Land Use Alliance. She has previously served as chair of the board of the Environmental Grantmakers Association and treasurer of the Western Conservation Foundation. She also volunteers with her hometown of Los Altos Hills as co-chair of the Environmental Initiatives Committee.

Aileen was born and raised on Long Island, New York. She attended Yale University, where she received a B.A. in political science and East Asian studies. She received her J.D. from Harvard Law School and is a member of the California bar.

Leonardo Lacerda, Oak Foundation

TITLE: Director of Enivornment Programme

FUNDING AREAS: Marine conservation, climate change

CONTACT: Visit PeopleFinder for email and phone number (paid subscribers only)

PROFILE: . Before he became the Environment Programme Director at Oak Foundation, he spent 14 years as a journeyman with the World Wildlife Fund's international network. While there, he served as the Mediterranean Program Director, managed the Global Forest Conservation Program, and was the Program Coordinator for Latin America and the Caribbean. He was also once a board member for WWF-Spain and WWF-Greece.  And he is a founding member of Fundacao Vitoria Amazonica, an NGO based in Manaus, Brazil.

His foundation bio shares: 

Leonardo Lacerda holds the position of Environment Programme Director at Oak Foundation. He supervises staff, working on two priority areas: climate change and marine conservation.

Prior to joining Oak Foundation, Leonardo worked for 14 years with the World Wildlife Fund’s international network in various capacities, including Mediterranean Programme Director/Representative (Rome, Italy), Conservation Director of WWF-Brazil (Brasilia), Manager of the Global Forest Conservation Programme, and Latin America and Caribbean Programme Coordinator (Gland, Switzerland). He is a founding member of Fundacao Vitoria Amazonica, an NGO based in Manaus, Brazil. Leonardo has extensive experience in terrestrial and marine protected areas management, organisational development, financial and programme management, climate change and international relations.

He is a member of the Scientific Council of WWF-Brazil, and former board member of WWF-Spain and WWF-Greece. He speaks Portuguese, English, French, Italian and Spanish. Leonardo has a M.A. in International Relations from the Paul Nitsche School of International Advanced Studies (SAIS) from Johns Hopkins University.

Heather Ludemann, David and Lucile Packard Foundation

TITLE: Program Officer, Conservation and Science

FUNDING AREAS: Fisheries management and marine ecosystems—U.S. west coast

CONTACT: Visit PeopleFinder for email and phone number (paid subscribers only)

PROFILE: Heather Ludemann joined the David and Lucile Packard Foundation in 2008, where she now leads the U.S. West Coast subprogram of their Conservation and Science division. She focuses on marine ecosystem restoration and management.

Her foundation bio shares:

Heather Ludemann joined the Packard Foundation in 2008 and serves as a program officer.

At the Packard Foundation, Heather leads the Foundation’s work on marine conservation and fisheries management in the U.S. Heather brings a background in science and policy and nearly two decades of experience working on marine conservation and fisheries management in the U.S. Her grantmaking and investment portfolio at the Foundation focuses on advancing the ability of U.S. marine ecosystems to sustain biodiversity and productivity as pressures and demands on these systems grow. She supports projects that lead to new knowledge and adoption of policies and practices that strengthen marine conservation and advance fisheries management along the U.S. West Coast and nationally.

Prior to joining the Foundation, Heather was a Presidential Management Fellow at National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). As a Fellow she served in the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, and worked at NOAA Fisheries including short-term assignments in their Alaska and Oregon field offices.

Heather has a bachelor’s degree in Biology and Environmental Studies from Tufts University and a master’s degree in marine policy with a certificate in conservation biology policy from the University of Washington. Heather currently serves as co-chair of the CGBD Marine Conservation Program and is on the Board of Advisors for Funding Fish. In her free time, Heather spends as much time as possible outdoors, preferably in the mountains or on the ocean.

VIDEO:

Samuel B. Passmore, Charles Stewart Mott Foundation

TITLE: Program Director

FUNDING AREAS: Environmental conservation

CONTACT: Visit PeopleFinder for email and phone number (paid subscribers only)

PROFILE: Samuel Passmore is the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation's environmental program director. In that position, he oversees an environmental grant-making portfolio that encompasses three areas: North American Freshwater Ecosystems, which supports freshwater conservation across the United States but emphasizes the Great Lakes region and, to a lesser extent, the southeastern states; International Finance for Sustainability, whose grants aim to boost sustainable investments and economic opportunities worldwide; and a bevy of Special Initiatives grants, which primarily focuses on grants for urban revitalization and growth management in Michigan.

His foundation bio shares: 

Sam Passmore directs the Foundation’s Environment Program. He supervises all environmental grantmaking and oversees the team’s work on program development and evaluation. He also shares responsibility for the Foundation’s freshwater grant portfolio, which focuses on the Great Lakes basin and portions of the southeastern United States, and is the lead staff person for the domestic aspects of the Foundation’s climate change grantmaking. Prior to joining Mott in November 2001, Passmore was the land use program director of the Coastal Conservation League in South Carolina. He has worked for a number of other environmental organizations in a staff or consulting capacity, including: Save The Bay; Environment Liaison Centre International; Trust for Public Land; Humane Society of the United States; and Environmental Protection Agency, Region III. Passmore has a bachelor’s degree in English and Environmental Studies from Oberlin College and a master’s degree in Public Affairs from Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School. While Passmore describes himself as “pretty outdoorsy,” he credits two books for setting him off on his career path: “Soft Energy Paths” by Amory Lovins and “The Unsettling of America” by Wendell Berry.

Alan Holt, Margaret A. Cargill Foundation

TITLE: Program Director, Environment

FUNDING AREAS: Marine conservation, Great Bear of the Tongass Coast Conservation, local environmental sustainability and biodiversity

CONTACT: Visit PeopleFinder for email and phone number (paid subscribers only)

PROFILE: As Program Director for the Environment arm of this fairly new but deep-pocketed Minnesota funder, Holt now manages a huge conservation portfolio that reaches the Pacific islands, tropical forests, and the temperate rainforests of Alaska and British Columbia.

Holt's role at Cargill started when the foundation really began gearing up in 2009, and Holt has said his work developing conservation programs still strongly influences his thoughts on what makes a good funder. For example, he thinks back to his early work in Hawaii, and how a project funded by MacArthur in the 1980s morphed into the broad collaboration Hawai'i Conservation Alliance, because he strayed from the proposal.

"You get more when you give grantees the room to adapt and innovate toward important goals, not by trying to tightly manage them to an original work plan," he told an annual HCA conference in his 2012 keynote speech. Allowing leeway instead of holding grantees to a set of boxes to check off yields far greater results, he said. "Great science and great researchers aren't necessarily attracted to having their agenda orchestrated," Holt added. "Fancy that."

He’s now in a position to extend that same room to innovate to others, in a big way. Since its namesake's passing in 2006, the Margaret A. Cargill Foundation has been ramping up, with its first big year in grantmaking in 2011 (featuring $141 million in giving). The foundation's endowment has grown to one of the largest in the country, and a good chunk of its funding is in conservation.

You can see Holt's apparent influence in the focus on Pacific islands, tropical forests and work in Alaska. Before taking the job at Cargill, he spent the bulk of his career at The Nature Conservancy, where in his most recent role he was regional director overseeing Alaska, Canada, Washington, Oregon, California, and Hawaii. But having spent nearly 30 years at the Conservancy, Holt was also involved in international decisions and strategy. 

His legacy will likely remain his work in Hawaii. During his time at The Nature Conservancy, he designed and created its Hawaii conservation programs from 1982 to 1999. He was one of the founders of what would become the Hawaii Conservation Alliance, a coalition of nonprofits, educational institutions and government agencies collectively responsible for managing Hawaii’s land and waters. Prior to that project, he worked as a field biologist for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and National Park Service. He also holds a master's in botany from the University of Hawaii, and is an expert in invasive species.

Holt still cites his successful work on the island as the basis for what he thinks makes for successful conservation work. As he said in his 2012 keynote speech, Hawaii has been at the leading edge of what's happening now in conservation, which is a respect for culture and a fusion of community interests.

What we're doing now could be called not so much biodiversity conservation, but bio-cultural conservation, bio-cultural diversity. Where Hawaiian perspective is not a special topic or a visiting speaker, but a gift from our ancestors that can bring us beyond what we can do through science alone.

Guillermo Castilleja, Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation

TITLE: Chief Program Officer, Environmental Conservation

CONTACT: Visit PeopleFinder for email and phone number (paid subscribers only) 

PROFILE: Guillermo Castilleja is the Chief Program Officer of Environmental Conservation at the Moore Foundation. His Yale bio shares: 

Guillermo Castilleja leads and oversees strategy for the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation’s Environmental Conservation Program, which seeks to protect critical ecosystems and balance long-term conservation with sustainable use. The program includes an interlinked trio of market-based approaches to conservation (the Conservation and Financial Markets Initiative, Forests and Agricultural Markets Initiative, and Oceans and Seafood Markets Initiative) as well as initiatives that focus on the Andes-Amazon, Marine Conservation and Wild Salmon Ecosystems. 
Before joining the foundation in 2010, Guillermo worked for World Wildlife Fund-International (WWF), most recently as Executive Director for conservation. In that capacity, he directed and coordinated its global conservation efforts, leading the development of global priorities for the network, overseeing implementation of its activities and monitoring progress. He has also worked for the World Bank and the National Wildlife Federation. 
Guillermo graduated from the National University of Mexico and received a Master’s degree in Forestry, a Master’s degree in Philosophy and a doctorate in Forest Ecology from Yale University. 

Wolcott Henry, The Curtis and Edith Munson Foundation

TITLE: President and Chair

FUNDING AREAS: Marine fisheries and wildlife conservation

CONTACT: Visit PeopleFinder for email and phone number (paid subscribers only)

PROFILE: Wolcott Henry is the president and chair of the Curtis and Edith Munson Foundation. His foundation bio shares:

Underwater photographer Wolcott Henry is president and chair of The Curtis and Edith Munson Foundation and The Henry Foundation, both of which support marine conservation projects with an emphasis on fisheries and coral reefs. From 1989 to 1993, he published Conservation Digest, a newsletter for environmental grantmakers. He is the co-founder of the marine funders working group.
In the non-profit field, Mr. Henry served as a director on the boards of the chair of Earth Echo International (also as chair), World Wildlife Fund-Philippines, and The Ocean Foundation (of which he was the founding chair). His prior board service also includes the International League of Conservation Photographers, World Wildlife Fund—US, FotoWeek DC, the Divers Alert Network (DAN), and the Ocean Conservancy. He serves on advisory boards forf the Smithsonian Ocean Science Initiative, the Frost Museum of Science, and the Reef Environmental Education Foundation, and on the national council of World Wildlife Fund-US.
Mr. Henry has also collaborated with Dr. Sylvia Earle on two children's books published by the National Geographic Society, titled Hello Fish and Sea Critters. In 1999, he co-authored a large format book with Dr. Earle on our national marine sanctuary system called Wild Ocean, also published by the National Geographic Society. In 2011, he received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation.
Because of his interest in both conservation and photography, Mr. Henry has worked hard to promote the concept of "conservation photography," using high quality images to illustrate environmental problems as well as natural wonders. He helped foundwww.marinephotobank.org to provide such marine images to the global nonprofit community for use in public outreach and education projects.
Prior to joining the Munson Foundation in 1986, he worked for two management consulting firms in Chicago. He received his B.A. from Denison University and an M.B.A. from Northwestern University.

VIDEO:

Denis Hayes, Bullitt Foundation

TITLE: President and CEO

FUNDING AREAS: Marine ecosystem conservation, clean energy, and green infrastructure

CONTACT: Visit PeopleFinder for email and phone number (paid subscribers only)

PROFILE: Denis Hayes is the president and CEO of the Bullitt Foundation. His foundation bio shares:

As president of the Bullitt Foundation, Denis leads an effort to mold the major cities of Pacific Northwest and British Columbia into models of sustainability for a rapidly urbanizing planet. The Foundation applies ecological principles to the design of healthy, resilient human ecosystems. Under his leadership, the Foundation designed and constructed the Bullitt Center—the world’s greenest office building—which it operates as a commercial enterprise.
Denis was the principal national organizer of the first Earth Day in 1970 and took the event international in 1990. It is now the most-wide-observed secular holiday in the world. As board chair of the international Earth Day Network, Denis is gearing up for the 50th Earth Day anniversary in 2020. Over the years, Hayes has been special assistant to the Governor of Illinois for natural resources and the environment; senior fellow at the Worldwatch Institute; adjunct professor of engineering and human biology at Stanford University; Regents’ Professor at the University of California; and a Silicon Valley lawyer at the Cooley firm. Denis has been a visiting scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, DC and at the Bellagio Centerin Italy, and a Richard von Weizsäcker Fellow of the Bosch Foundation. During the Carter Administration, Hayes was the director of SERI — the nation’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory.
Hayes has received the national Jefferson Medal for Outstanding Public Serviceand the Rachel Carson Medal as well as the highest awards bestowed by the Sierra Club, the Humane Society of the United States, the National Wildlife Federation, the Natural Resources Council of America, the Global Environmental Facility, the Interfaith Center for Corporate Responsibility, the American Solar Energy Society, and the Commonwealth Club. He has served on dozens of governing boards, including those of Stanford University, the World Resources Institute, the Federation of American Scientists, the Energy Foundation, Children Now, the National Programming Council for Public Television, the American Solar Energy Society, Greenpeace, CERES, and the Environmental Grantmakers Association. Time magazine selected Hayes as one of its “Heroes of the Planet”. He has been profiled as “Newsmaker of the week” by ABC News and as “Today’s Person in the News” by the New York Times. Denis and his wife, Gail Boyer Hayes, co-authored COWED: The Hidden Impact of 93 Million Cows on America’s Health, Economy, Politics, Culture, and Environment (WW Norton, 2015).

VIDEOS: