Kicker Rock from Cerro Brujo, San Cristóbal. Photo © Jessica Haverstick

Board of Directors

Board of Directors

Kicker Rock from Cerro Brujo, San Cristóbal. Photo © Jessica Haverstick

Galapagos Conservancy is led by a volunteer Board of Directors who bring a wide variety of expertise and enthusiasm to GC. Learn more about each below.


Chair: Mr. Bradley T. Johnson

Mr. Johnson joined the Board in 2014. He received his undergraduate degree from Dartmouth and his MBA and JD degrees from the University of Virginia. He has worked extensively in Latin America, Europe, Africa and Asia, and has lived in Latin America, Europe and the Caribbean. Mr. Johnson is an experienced international business advisory consultant and attorney. He is now in private practice specializing in cross border transactions and new business development. He lives in southern Virginia.

Secretary: Dr. Charles Lane

Dr. Charles Lane joined the Board in 2018. He is Senior Research Scientist with the US federal government who has been leading and conducting ecological research for over 15 years. Dr. Lane’s published research areas and expertise include systems and aquatic ecology, watershed hydrology, biogeochemistry, remote sensing, and geospatial analyses. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics (1995) from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and his Master of Science (2000) and Ph.D. (2003) in Systems Ecology from the University of Florida. Prior to earning his graduate degrees, he worked as an interpretive park ranger in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and at the Statue of Liberty National Monument, as well as serving as assistant to the President of the Sierra Club. He lives in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Treasurer: Mr. Hurdle H. “Trip” Lea

Mr. Lea joined the Board in 2019. He is the Chief Financial Officer of NuCapital Inc., a Curaçao-based renewable energy company with a target region in Central and South America and the Caribbean with an emphasis on the greenfield origination, development, operation, and ownership of utility-scale wind farms. In addition, he founded Futerra Fuels International, a company focused on sustainable energy generation through the conversion of biomass to biocoal. He has served on numerous not-for-profit and corporate board boards of private companies in the Caribbean Basin and broader Latin America, where he travels extensively on an ongoing basis. Mr. Lea comes from an asset management background having been an officer, director and partner of companies in the alternative asset arena, managing asset in venture capital, hedge fund, hedge fund-of-funds and private equity vehicles. He has served more than 15 years on Boards of Independent Schools in the Caribbean (St. Thomas and Curaçao). Mr. Lea holds a Bachelor of Science in Finance, Management and Meteorology from the University of North Carolina at Asheville and currently resides in Curaçao in the Dutch Antilles.


Ms. Carolina Jijon

Ms. Carolina Jijon is the director of the Quito Botanical Gardens, a position she has held since 2004 and she concurrently holds the position of Executive Director of the Botanical Foundation of the Andes. As Director of the Botanical Gardens, she rebuilt and opened to the public the first Botanical garden in the city of Quito and created it as a primary reference facility for ex-situ conservation of plants. A dedicated conservationist, she has been a founding member and Board member of various international conservation organizations, including Fundación Natura where she was the president of the board of directors. She was also Executive President of the Quito Zoo. Ms. Jijon is a graduate of the Catholic University of Quito with a Bachelor’s degree in Biology and is a published author on the subject of conservation management.

Dr. Tessie San Martin

Dr. San Martin joined the Board in 2019. She is President and CEO of Plan International USA, one of the oldest and largest international development organizations in the world with offices in 51 countries across Africa, Asia, and the Americas. Prior to joining Plan, Dr. San Martin was Group Vice President for Abt Associates, overseeing all the technical assistance, policy research and strategic business consulting provided by Abt Associates to its clients overseas. She was responsible for leading the rapid growth of the unit (doubling it in size in less than 3 years) and led the company’s first acquisition. Before joining Abt Associates, Dr. San Martin was Partner in charge of PricewaterhouseCoopers’ (PwC) International Financing Institutions (IFI) practice. She has also held senior positions in the World Bank Group. Dr. San Martin is active and holds leadership positions in a number of non-profit and for profit boards and advisory councils. She has a Ph.D. in Political Economy and Government from Harvard University.

Dr. Stephen Mette

Dr. Mette joined the Board in 2016. He received his medical degree from Cornell University Medical College. Dr. Mette has broad experience in both academic medical centers and non-university healthcare systems as an expert in lung diseases and as a senior physician executive. His current work is in healthcare delivery reform. He is employed as chief clinical officer at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences and previously served in leadership positions with the Maine Medical Center and the Graduate Hospital in Philadelphia, PA. Dr. Mette lives in Little Rock, Arkansas.

Mr. Richard Polatty

Mr. Polatty joined the Board in 2016. He attended undergraduate school at Vanderbilt University and graduate school at Emory University (GA) in geology. He became a Galapagos guide in 1985 and has been working in the Islands as chief naturalist for International Nature and Culture Adventures (INCA) since 1990. Other endeavors have included working in the Antarctic since 1990 as expedition leader on various vessels and since the early 1990s he has been a research associate of Oceanites, which runs the Antarctic Site Inventory. He is also active in conservation programs on mainland Ecuador. Mr. Polatty lives on the island of Santa Cruz, Galapagos and Tumbaco, Ecuador.

Ms. Ann Swanson

Ms. Swanson joined the Board in 2018. She has served for the last 30 years as the Executive Director of the Chesapeake Bay Commission, a tri-state legislative authority composed of legislators, governors and prominent citizens from Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. Swanson is widely recognized as a leader in crafting state and federal environmental law and forging regional partnerships. Previously she served as Grassroots Director for the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, coordinating all the CBF’s citizen involvement and as Assistant State Naturalist for the State of Vermont. She is trained in the sciences — as a field ecologist and wildlife biologist — with degrees from the University of Vermont and Yale University and has been honored with an Honorary Doctorate of Laws from UVM and more than a dozen local, state and regional recognitions for her conservation leadership. She served on the Board of the UVM Rubenstein School of Environmental and Natural Resources for 19 years, 11 as Chair. Ms. Swanson lives in Annapolis, Maryland.

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