The National Wildlife Federation

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Leadership Promotions Will Strengthen the National Wildlife Federation’s Work on Behalf of People, Wildlife

RESTON, VA  — Collin O’Mara, president and CEO of the National Wildlife Federation, America’s largest and most trusted conservation organization, announced today several important promotions and improvements to the organization’s leadership structure. The promotions will ensure that the Federation is a stronger and more effective advocate for wildlife, people and communities. Several current leaders will take on expanded roles that will help the organization confront America’s wildlife crisis and continue the work to make the vision behind its strategic plan a reality. 

“The National Wildlife Federation is America’s leading force for forging durable, bipartisan, and collaborative conservation solutions that recover America’s wildlife and protect our shared heritage for generations to come,” O'Mara said. “These organizational improvements will help position the National Wildlife Federation and our 52 affiliates to overcome the truly monumental challenges facing our world today, including the wildlife crisis, our children’s nature deficit, and the climate crisis, while redoubling our ongoing investments in equity and justice and the values that underpin all of our work on behalf of people and wildlife.”

To meet the moment, O’Mara has promoted several current vice presidents to take on new roles to improve organizational effectiveness, enhance the National Wildlife Federation’s conservation program delivery, and bolster organizational capacity. Notably, the National Wildlife Federation will add Chanté Coleman, the organization’s first Director of Equity and Justice, to its executive team, which stewards the organization and provides critical advice and guidance to O’Mara.

In addition to Coleman and O’Mara, the National Wildlife Federation’s new executive team will include:

  • Mustafa Santiago Ali, Vice President for Environmental Justice, Climate, and Community Revitalization
  • Andy Buchsbaum, Vice President for One Federation
  • Laura Daniel Davis, Chief of Policy and Advocacy 
  • Hilary Falk, Chief Program Officer 
  • Ben Kota, General Counsel 
  • Sarah Laskin, Vice President for National and International Conservation Programs 
  • Amanda McKnight, Chief People and Administration Officer 
  • Dawn Rodney, Chief Innovation and Growth Officer 
  • Dirk Sellers, Chief Development Officer 
  • Karen Wagner, Chief Financial Officer  

In her new role as Chief Program Officer, Falk will lead all conservation and education programs for the National Wildlife Federation. Davis, in her new role as Chief of Policy and Advocacy, will lead organizational policy development, advocacy, and communications. Laskin will expand her role overseeing the National Wildlife Federation’s global work, at home and abroad, as the Vice President for National and International Conservation Programs. These new roles will improve internal collaboration, advance program growth, and support equity as the National Wildlife Federation accelerates its conservation leadership. 

The new leadership structure also will streamline decision-making and organizational effectiveness. McKnight will assume the role of Chief People and Administration Officer, expanding her previous role as Chief of Staff.  Rodney will assume the role of Chief Innovation and Growth Officer, overseeing the organization’s award-winning publications and its innovation and marketing teams. Sellers will assume the role of Chief Development Officer; and Wagner will assume the role of Chief Financial Officer. 

“From the Chesapeake Bay to downtown LA and the Rio Grande to northern Rockies, the National Wildlife Federation has achieved significant wins for people and wildlife at a time when our elected leaders can’t seem to agree on anything,” Falk said. “At a time of unprecedented conservation challenges, these organizational enhancements will ensure we seize the opportunities before us. The National Wildlife Federation is America’s largest and most trusted conservation organization — and this new structure will help us continue to grow as a 21st century conservation leader.” 

The National Wildlife Federation, founded in 1936, is comprised of more than 6 million members across the nation and 52 state and territorial affiliates, which lead critical wildlife conservation efforts in their states and territories and join forces to make conservation progress at the national and regional levels.

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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 52 state and territory affiliates to reverse the crisis and ensure wildlife thrive.

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