Conservation International Appoints White House Veteran Gary R. Edson as President

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CI Taps White House Veteran and Leader in Global Development

September 22, 2014 - White House veteran Gary R. Edson will join Conservation International (CI) as president. The appointment is effective September 22.

Edson joins CI with a distinguished record of success in global development, having established the ground-breaking Millennium Challenge Corporation to fight global poverty; co-led the development of the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR); and served as CEO of the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund after the 2010 earthquake. In his new role, Edson will oversee Conservation International’s mission to ensure that nature can provide for the well-being of humanity. Edson will report directly to Conservation International’s co-founder, Chairman and CEO Peter Seligmann.

"Gary has a proven track record of implementing creative solutions to pressing global challenges. His leadership will keep Conservation International on the cutting edge of innovation, and ensure that we continue to deliver on our mission of promoting healthy and resilient ecosystems as the foundation for prosperous nations," said Seligmann. "We are thrilled to have him as our president."

“We are delighted that someone with Gary’s stature and experience is joining Conservation International as president,” said Rob Walton, Chairman of Conservation International’s Executive Committee. “His unique background, pairing public service with private sector expertise, will change the scale of our efforts as we work with government, industry and community leadership to protect the planet for our children and grandchildren.”

“I’m proud to be joining the committed and creative team at Conservation International,” said Edson. “Throughout my career, I’ve focused on improving the health and well-being of people globally. This is an opportunity to take that commitment to the next level by joining an organization at the center of the movement to ensure prosperity by protecting natural capital. It will be a privilege to help this remarkable organization guarantee a better future for all people.”

Edson joins Conservation International from Baker & McKenzie Compliance Consulting LLC where he served as Managing Director – Strategy and Policy.

Previously, Edson served in the George W. Bush White House as Deputy National Security Advisor, Deputy National Economic Advisor and Deputy Assistant to the President for International Economic Policy. In addition to his work on AIDS and global poverty, he served as chief negotiator for the presidential summits of G8, Latin American, EU and Asia-Pacific leaders; coordinated the U.S. response to financial crises in Latin America and elsewhere; co-led the federal response to New York in the aftermath of 9/11; and oversaw the launch of initiatives on clean water, human trafficking, and agriculture and food security.

In the non-profit sector, in addition to his work in Haiti, Edson has been the Global Health Fellow at the George W. Bush Institute, focusing on Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon, the leading public-private partnership aimed at reducing deaths from cervical and breast cancer in Africa and Latin America. He also helped launch Malaria No More. His private sector experience has centered on private equity and business turnarounds.

Conservation International’s work regularly brings together the government, corporate and philanthropic sectors to protect nature where it is most essential for people. With Edson’s leadership experience from the White House to numerous high-profile humanitarian initiatives, Conservation International is well positioned to continue to advance its ambitious vision of a world where all people share sustainably in nature’s bounty.


For more information, contact:
Nick Mitsis, director news strategy and media relations, Conservation International
Office +1 703 341 2751/ email

Note to editors:
Conservation International (CI) – Building upon a strong foundation of science, partnership and field demonstration, CI empowers societies to responsibly and sustainably care for nature, our global biodiversity, for the well-being of people. Founded in 1987, CI is headquartered in the Washington, D.C. area and employs more than 800 staff in 30 countries on six continents, and has nearly 1,000 partners around the world. For more information, please visit our website at: or visit us on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.

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Kevin Connor
Conservation International
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