Women in Conservation Leadership

Women in Conservation

The National Wildlife Federation's Women in Conservation Leadership program seeks to foster, empower, and develop women leaders within the conservation community.

Women in Conservation Leadership Summit

The National Wildlife Federation is proud to announce the third Women in Conservation Leadership (WCL) Summit, which will take place virtually October 13-15, 2020.

Register Today

As part of the shift to a virtual platform we are adjusting the content to center racial equity and justice. The vision for Women in Conservation Leadership is stronger conservation through women leaders of ALL ethnicities, races, and cultures. To realize that vision, we must acknowledge that the feminist movement and WCL have been distinctly white. If WCL is to be successful, we must boldly stand up to the racism that has pervaded this sector, and the world. Women in Conservation Leadership is committed to centering, supporting, and resourcing Black, brown, and Indigenous women, while providing allyship education to white women. In this intentional shift, some of the competencies we will build upon at the Summit are:

• an understanding of structural racism and its centrality in conservation,
• proven awareness of multiple group identities and power dynamics,
• direct communication that matches intent and impact, and
• authentic relationship building across group identities

Racial equity and justice competencies are inexorably intertwined with effective leadership. This is the first step in a long-term journey. We will not be liberated from the patriarchy or systemic racism in one day or one conference. Women in Conservation Leadership will achieve stronger conservation through equity, justice, and leadership for and from all women.

Registration is now open! The general registration fee is $375 attendees and $150 for employees from smaller organizations or individuals who cannot afford to cover the regular fee. Current students are also eligible for the lower fee of $150.

Thank you to our 2020 sponsors!

See Sponsors

Past Events

In March 2017 the National Wildlife Federation hosted the first-ever Women in Conservation Leadership Summit, bringing together almost 200 women from across the Federation family, including from our affiliate organizations, staff, and board members. The summit was a resounding success with compelling sessions on women’s empowerment, skills, and approaches for supporting women’s leadership, understanding the barriers and opportunities for building women’s leadership, and individual and group commitments to take action.

While the 2017 summit included attendees from the National Wildlife Federation's internal staff, affiliate organizations, and board members, in 2018 we were pleased to open the summit to any woman working in the conservation field.

Women in Conservation Leadership

2018 WCL Summit

March 13-15, 2018
Hyatt Regency Chesapeake
Cambridge, MD
Read More

2017 WCL Summit

March 17-19, 2017
National Conservation Training Center
Shepherdstown, WV
Read More

For more information about the event or how to receive an invitation, please contact Elizabeth Lillard at LillardE@nwf.org or call 734-887-7134.

Get Involved

Where We Work

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.

Learn More
Regional Centers and Affiliates