OUR TEAM

CORE STAFF

Vance Martin

President

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 55 countries, and helped to establish many non-profit organizations. An acknowledged expert in international nature conservation and wilderness protection, including strong friendships and working partnerships with traditional and indigenous community leaders,  he serves on the boards of numerous organizations such as the Cheetah Conservation Fund, Friends of Peace Parks, Fulcrum Publishing, Wilderness Foundation (UK), International Conservation Caucus Foundation, and others. He is also a co-founder and President of Wilderness Foundation Global (based in South Africa), and the Founder/Co-chair of the  Wilderness Specialist Group (part of the World Commission on Protected Areas, within the International Union for the Conservation of Nature). He is the prolific author/editor of many publications in numerous countries.  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 or check out this 2021 interview with our colleagues at great.com.

Amy Lewis

Vice President of Policy & Communications

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.

Jennifer Meyer

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!

Geoff Tennent

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.

Meredith Murphy, Development Officer

Meredith Murphy

Development Officer

Meredith’s firm belief that nature needs strong advocates and even stronger coalitions led her to her role with WILD. Nothing inspires her more than forging relationships which lead to meaningful impact and seeing how collective action can solve complex problems. Since graduating with a B.A. in Political Science and History, she has been a Foster Parent Recruiter for a child welfare agency in Portland, Oregon, a Policy Analyst in Limerick, Ireland, and has held a Leadership Fellowship with a non-profit consultancy firm in Denver, Colorado. In 2021, Meredith completed her Master’s in Public Administration from CU Denver with a specialty in Social Equity and Advocacy. Throughout her graduate program, she consulted nonprofits big and small to better fund their vision of a more sustainable and just world.

Meredith is thrilled to contribute to WILD’s mission and method through the things she loves most- writing, strategizing, and connecting with those who are dedicated to improving the trajectory of our planet. If you have an interest in partnering with WILD, Meredith would love to speak with you!

Cassie Clusman

Design & Visual Content Lead 

Cassie is a curious and optimistic creative problem solver. The process of identifying the problem and then flowing through the obstacles to find a creative solution excites her.

She joins WILD with a history of striving to make the world a better place for all living things, and a formal background in graphic design after having studied Creative Advertising at CU Boulder and continuing education classes at Alberta College of Art and Design. At her previous job, she led an internal corporate giving-back effort for 4 years where she worked to bring the team together to support organizations like March of Dimes, Emergency Family Assistance Association, and the WILD Foundation. She also helped create and manages the nonprofit, Art Sticks, that works to support local artists, get art into the hands of more people, and create space for practicing a dialogue that allows for sharing opinions, even, and especially, when they differ from others (a skill our digital world has dwindled).

With a strong love and appreciation of animals and nature, Cassie is exploring her way across the world to learn about and experience other cultures. She spent a month in Togo learning West African dance and studied design while exploring the Alberta mountains. She’s a firm believer in the magic of nature and is thrilled to combine her love of making beautiful things with her desire to help save the world.

Savannah Manning

Social Media & Content Specialist

Savannah Manning is a professional rock climbing guide, business owner, and world adventurer. After graduating with a degree in Natural & Cultural Resources and Creative Writing from Georgia Southern University, she skipped the graduation walk and flew down to Mexico to climb majestic limestone towers. For the past eight years, she has been climbing her way all over North America, enjoying places like the Bugaboos in Canada and iconic motherlands like Yosemite. During that time, she worked for a local non-profit called the Southeastern Climbers Coalition and helped them manage and secure hundreds of acres of new land for conservation purposes. This led her to start her own climbing business that focuses on providing opportunities for all to become enriched in the outdoors through the gateway of rock climbing.

As the Social Media & Content Specialist, Savannah works to support WILD’s vision by sharing the stories, policies, and triumphs of the organization and its partners with the global community.

Savannah is your go-to person if you have a story to tell or an idea that aligns with WILD’s values. She’s also the best person to rope into any adventure because she’ll always say yes!

Joe Kurle

Digital Producer

Joe is a creative marketer who is excited by opportunities to use effective storytelling to make a positive impact on people and the planet.

With a degree in strategic communication from the Edward R. Murrow College of Communication at Washington State University, Joe has experience managing and growing the brands of professional sports teams, nonprofits and small businesses through digital communication. He joins WILD after three years serving in multiple consulting, web design, marketing and production roles with a nonprofit and with experience as a freelance marketer supporting small businesses in the ecotourism industry. Joe is also an avid photographer, runner and outdoor enthusiast who enjoys volunteering as a youth mentor in his community.

Joe supports WILD through video production, project management and web design to help maximize the outcomes of our international outreach and educational campaigns.

Carol Batrus

Corporate Secretary

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 called When 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.

PROGRAM STAFF

Susan Canney

Conservation Adviser and Project Leader for our Mali Elephant Project*

Dr. Susan Canney has a variety of experience from working on conservation projects across Africa, Asia and Europe, and as a research officer for the UK Government’s independent adviser on sustainable development at the Green College Centre for Environmental Policy & Understanding.

Her work involves using systems perspectives and collaborative approaches to understand the human-nature relationship and find sustainable solutions to conservation problems.

She is a Research Associate of the Department of Zoology, Oxford University, a Trustee of Tusk Trust, a Tusk Award Judge; sits on the Nature Needs Half Advisory Committee, the Sahara Conservation Fund’s Science Committee, and is a member of the IUCN African Elephant Specialist Group. She has co-authored a recently published book on “Conservation” for Cambridge University Press, that takes a global perspective to bring conservation to the heart of sustainability and environmental policy.

*The Mali Elephant Project is a joint program of WILD and the International Conservation Fund of Canada.

Adam Hanson

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.

Crista Valentino

Program Director for CoalitionWILD 

After graduating from Quinnipiac University in 2009, 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. In 2013, 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 co-founded CoalitionWILD working to connected and equip the world’s young leaders to tackle our planet’s greatest conservation challenges. She continues to lobby for a stronger integration of youth voices and empowerment in decision making, and has achieved this through co-publishing an intergenerational leadership toolkit for conservation and leading multiple projects that accelerate and further initiatives around the world being led by young people for nature.

Crista is the North American Focal Point for the the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) World Commission on Protected Areas (WCPA) Young Professionals, a Womentum and Leadership Jackson Hole Alumnae, and has had her writing featured in local, regional and international publications on a variety of topics. Most recently, Crista was named one of Wyoming’s Top 40 Under 40 across the state, and was named the 2017 Rising Star by the Jackson Hole Chamber of Commerce. Crista spends her free time pushing her limits in the Tetons and searching out the best ice cream shops around the world.

Zhang Qian

China Representative, WILD Foundation and Wilderness Foundation Global

Zhang Qian joined the international wilderness family in 2016 when she was introduced to this idea by WILD president Vance Martin and their common friend, with whom she had worked for years for showing China’s amazing beauty of nature to the world through nature photography and communication. As a nature lover, Qian was deeply inspired by the wilderness concept which could fit into China’s undergoing Eco-civilization movement, national parks planning and Eco-Red Line policies. She believes the introduction of an international wilderness standard will benefit China’s future conservation efforts, as a similar idea has been deeply rooted in the country’s traditional culture for a thousand years, but has somehow been lost in people’s minds because of the fast modernization progress.

As the China representative of WILD Foundation and Wilderness Foundation Global, Qian works as a bridge and facilitator between the international think tank and Chinese government, NGO partners, and academic institutions, working to build up a wilderness movement together that will work for China and shape China’s future conservation of wild nature. Academically, Qian completed her master’s degree at Tsinghua University in 2018 which researched wilderness management and became the first such thesis on wilderness management in China. Before working in the NGO sector, Qian had worked in Chinese government for many years, indulging 11 years of experiences in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and 2 years in the State Administration for Industry and Commerce.

Magnus Sylvén

Global Rewilding Alliance Co-Director

Animal ecologist (PhD) by training. Engaged in the conservation of nature since childhood. Worked professionally for the Swedish Government (research), WWF (International & Sweden), Rewilding Europe and the WILD Foundation, and as independent consultant since 2007. Interested in the interface between conservation, climate and what drives change in society. Passionate about wildlife. Family with four daughters, four grandchildren, and from time to time a dog. Born in Sweden and lives in Switzerland since 1991.

Karl Wagner

Global Rewilding Alliance Co-Director

Karl Wagner is a scientist by training and an environmental campaigner. Formerly, Karl worked for many years both at WWF International on global and EU campaigns and for the Club of Rome. For the last 10 years he has contributed frequently to the global campaigns conducted at the WILD Foundation.

Flávia Martinelli

YouthREWILD Coordinator

Flávia has a MA in Animal Biology, and is experienced in both in primate conservation and climate education. She is the CoalitionWILD Mentorship Program collaborator and Coordinator of Actions and Partnerships at Plant-for-the-Planet Brazil.