Vance joined WILD as president in 1984 after 15 years in international business and non-profit management. An innovative leader known for bridging the interests of people and nature, he has lived extensively overseas, worked in over 45 countries, and helped to establish many non-profits. An acknowledged expert in international nature conservation and wilderness protection, he serves on the boards of numerous organizations such as the Cheetah Conservation Fund, Friends of Peace Parks, Fulcrum Publishing, Wilderness Foundation (South Africa), Wilderness Foundation (UK), International Conservation Caucus Foundation, and others. He is also the founder and current co-chairman of the IUCN Wilderness Specialist Group, and has edited and authored many publications. A native of the U.S. Piedmont region, he graduated magna cum laude from West Virginia University. For more information about Vance, please visit his wikipedia page.
Vice President of Communications & Development
Amy Lewis has spent the last 15 years researching the building blocks of collective action. She has brought this knowledge to bear in her own work as an award-winning nonprofit leader and as a scholar of environmental policy. Her research explores the relationship between democratic decision-making and policies that benefit the environment. Nothing inspires Amy more than a good mystery, and she delights in uncovering the deep forces that determine a society’s political and ecological future. Amy employs her knowledge and skills at the WILD Foundation, aligning her personal goals with WILD’s mission to activate an international ethic of care for wildlife and wild places. In addition to lending her support to a growing community of people taking action to keep Earth wild, Amy is also finishing the last two chapters of her doctoral dissertation, something she has resolved will be completed before the conclusion of this decade.
Director of Operations
Nurturing her love of mountains, wide open spaces, tasty veggie-friendly food and yoga; Jenn has made her a new home in Boulder by exchanging one sunny state for another. She was born and raised in Sarasota, Florida, attended school in Boca Raton and a few years later the laid-back lifestyle of Sarasota called her back home. Jenn comes to The WILD Foundation with 10 years of experience in the Administrative field and has also been a yoga enthusiast and instructor for the last few years. When she’s not at the desk or flowing through a vinyasa she can be found with her dog, Roxy taking in the sun….and maybe even on the slopes, hopefully!
Director of Communications & Outreach
Joining the WILD Foundation in 2011, Melanie works to attain local and international support of WILD’s conservation programs through a variety of digital platforms, visual storytelling, and engaging appeals. Additionally, Melanie manages the collaborative Wild Boulder citizen science initiative as a way to help local land managers improve open space while deepening community respect for nature.
Melanie graduated from Kent State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Photo-Illustration, completed a year of service with Americorps National Civilian Community Corps, and received her Master of Arts in Media & Public Engagement at the University of Colorado Boulder. Her creative-track MA thesis, the Bears & People Project, serves as a visual case story of Boulder’s efforts to peacefully coexist with urban black bears.
In between her work and studies, you can find Melanie outside exploring Colorado’s extraordinary mountain terrain with her dogs, and volunteering as a wildlife transporter and bearsitter (which is exactly what it sounds like!).
Donor Relations Manager
Growing up in rural New York, Geoff came to love the outdoors through his many hiking, camping, and canoeing trips. He moved to Colorado for the first time to pursue a graduate degree in International Development and meanwhile fell in love with the mountains and the climate. After serving two AmeriCorps terms with Habitat for Humanity, Geoff comes to WILD excited to combine his passions for nature and helping people. He will be working on donor engagement, communication, and recognition, as well as enhancing development systems.
Geoff enjoys international travel and has spent an extended time living in the Middle East. In his free time he likes to spend time in the mountains and has a lifelong passion for music. He has been playing piano since elementary school, and he dreams of one day owning a his very own grand piano.
In 1999 Carol volunteered for WILD as an in-country manager for a community development project in Isandlwana, a remote and primitive Zulu village in South Africa. For 2 ½ years she worked with local tribal leaders and women to initiate skills training, water management projects, micro-lending programs and more. She authored a book about her experience calledWhen Elephants Fly, One Woman’s Journey from Wall Street to Zululand, published in 2005. After a 10 year hiatus, Carol returned to work with WILD with special projects that help to refine existing systems and create new systems to help manage WILD’s complex organizational/management requirements.
Carol has a varied academic background with a Master of Science degree in Clinical Nutrition, working for 10 years in hospitals and research facilities. She then achieved an MBA from Columbia University working in institutional equity sales for 10 years at a Wall Street investment bank. Carol serves on two boards: Chair, BoldeReach, a non-profit aiding women and children in extreme need internationally and President of her Homeowner’s Association.
Senior Policy Adviser
Cyril conducts research and advocacy on issuesincluding wilderness law and policy, conservation finance and forest policy. Cyril also coordinates “IntAct, International Action for Primary Forests”, an NGO coalition promoting the protection of primary forests globally. In addition, Cyril serves as Vice‐Chair for World Heritage for the International Union for the Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) World Commission on Protected Areas (WCPA). He chairs the IUCN-WCPA World Heritage Specialist Group, is a member of IUCN’s World Heritage Panel, which advises UNESCO onWorld Heritage nominations, and attends UN World Heritage Committee meetings with IUCN’s delegation. Cyril is also an associate editor for theInternational Journal of Wildernessand an editorial board member for IUCN-WCPA’s Parks journal and has published extensively. Cyril holds a B.A. in English from the University of California, Berkeley, an M.Sc. in Politics of the World Economy from the London School of Economics and a J.D. from the George Washington University Law School.
Community Architect for Nature Needs Half
After recently graduating from Boston College with a BA in Communications and a minor in Environmental Studies, Jackie has moved to beautiful Boulder from the east coast where she grew up. In 2012, Jackie interned for the WILD Foundation before heading off to college. Since then, she has spent time working for WWF-Australia and the Oceanic Preservation Society, and is very excited to rejoin the WILD team to work on Nature Needs Half. Jackie looks forward to continuing in the environmental world in order to inspire people to take positive action for the planet. Her primary goal in working for the environment is to remind others of Margaret Mead’s wise words, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”
When she’s not working, Jackie loves traveling and scuba diving with all sorts of wonderful creatures.
Project Leader for the Mali Elephant Project (a project of WILD & The International Conservation Fund of Canada); WILD Conservation Advisor
Dr. Susan Canney has worked on a variety of nature conservation projects in Africa, Asia and Europe, including living for several years in Niger and Tanzania. Dr. Canney has also worked as a research officer at the Green College Centre for Environmental Policy & Understanding (UK). In addition to working with WILD, she also collaborates with the Wildlife Conservation Research Unit (WildCRU) based in Oxford.
She has MAs in Natural Sciences, Landscape Design, and Environmental Policy, and a Doctorate for understanding changing human land use and its impact on a protected area in Tanzania. Her work involves using systems perspectives and collaborative approaches to understand the human-nature relationship and find sustainable solutions to conservation problems.
Dr Canney is also the Secretary and a Co-founder of the Earth Systems Science Special Interest Group of the Geological Society of London, and of the Gaia Network. She teaches at University of Oxford and for the Green Economics Institute and is part of Forum for the Future’s ‘Reconnections’ team for business leaders. She is co-author of “Conservation” (Cambridge University Press, 2013).
NAWPA Facilitator & Manager of Conservation Programs
Adam is the Facilitator for the North American Intergovernmental Committee on Cooperation for Wilderness and Protected Areas Conservation (NAWPA) and provides program support to the Marine Wilderness Project. He has a strong passion for the environment and fostering relationships between people and nature. Adam holds a B.S. in Biological Sciences from South Dakota State University and M.S. in Biological Science at Old Dominion University. As a U.S. Peace Corps (PC) volunteer, Adam specialized in coastal resource management and establishment of marine protected areas. During his PC service, he worked with local fishers communities, provincial and federal agencies, NGOs, and scientists to facilitate, develop, integrate, monitor, and evaluate coastal projects throughout the Philippines. He studied the origins of biodiversity by examining genetic relationship of coral reef fish populations throughout the Coral Triangle as a Research Scientist/Molecular Ecology Lab teacher with the Coral Triangle Partnership in International Research and Education. Adam is based out of WILD’s Washington, D.C. office and enjoys exploring the outdoors, music, sports, spending time with family and friends, and volunteering at the local farmers market selling organic produce.
Sharon Shay Sloan
Program Director for Indigenous & Community Lands & Seas
Sharon Shay Sloan is dedicated to Earth and community stewardship and working for love of the wild, inside and out. Deeply inspired through early transformational experiences in human community and wilderness and by the power of social change movements, Shay dedicated herself to re-imagining the Human-Nature-Relationship toward everyday cooperation with life. She looks to Nature as teacher, and has had the honor of working with, alongside and/or for Indigenous Peoples from over a hundred First Nations. Currently, she works as a council trainer, wilderness rites of passage guide and is founding director of the international Indigenous & Community Lands & Seas program with The WILD Foundation. As co-editor of Protecting Wild Nature on Native Lands, Volume II,Shay honors the power of language to inspire and catalyze action and the human capacity to dream.
Project Manager for CoalitionWILD
After graduating from Quinnipiac University, Crista was drawn to non-profit work, enjoying the ability to be a part of decision making processes and watching how her day-to-day contributions immediately and directly affected an outcome. As the Director of Programs and Communications for four years at a small environmental NGO in Jackson, Wyoming, Crista was given the ability to design and implement programs that connected people (especially youth) to the environment in different ways – through photography, experiential learning, meditation, outdoor events, and programming.
With an invitation from the WILD Foundation to address the lack of support and visibility that was available to younger generations in the environmental sector, Crista designed and co-founded CoalitionWILD, an international movement of rising leaders to create a wilder world. She continues to lobby for a stronger integration of youth voices and empowerment in organizational and business decision making. Most recently, Crista co-founded a business, Current, working to integrate thoughtful practices into new ideas and projects through strategy and project management.