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Joel Barna

Joel Barna

Joel Barna

Director of Regional Philanthropy
South Central Region

Joel Barna is the Director of Regional Philanthropy for our South Central Regional Center in Austin, Texas, partnering with the National Wildlife Federation’s most dedicated individual and institutional supporters to match their philanthropic passions with organizational priorities. Joel started with the Federation in 2016 and works alongside individuals who are ensuring the future for wildlife throughout the Gulf of Mexico region.

Previously, Joel work as the Development Manager for the The University of Texas at Austin McDonald Observatory. He had the primary responsibility for developing and successfully implementing plans to raise private funds for initiatives including the Frank N. Bash Visitors Center, the Frank and Susan Bash Endowed Chair for the Director of McDonald Observatory, improvements to the Hobby-Eberly Telescope and other research facilities, the programs of the McDonald Observatory Education and Outreach Office, the Hobby-Eberly Telescope Dark Energy Experiment, and faculty and student support.

From Joel:

If you’re like me, your connection with wildlife started in your own backyard. My childhood in Houston was rich in small wonders: leafcutter ants, horny-toad lizards, monarchs. I once saw a hog-nosed snake fake his death. My father and mother would drive us on weekends on the long, flat roads to Galveston and the Bolivar peninsula where we’d fish and crab in the East Bay or in the surf. My siblings and I still tell stories of the feasts from this bounty – as important to our family as Thanksgiving and Christmas memories.

Today, habitat loss, drought, deforestation, rising temperatures, and other challenges put these vital natural resources at risk. But through our work at the National Wildlife Federation, we can protect and restore our natural heritage. I look forward to meeting you and learning about how we can work together for wilderness and wildlife.

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More than one-third of U.S. fish and wildlife species are at risk of extinction in the coming decades. We're on the ground in seven regions across the country, collaborating with 53 state and territory affiliates to reverse the crisis and ensure wildlife thrive.

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