President: Paul Salaman
Dr. Paul Salaman proudly joined the Galapagos Conservancy team in October 2020 to serve as President and to lead GC’s efforts to save the most precious and imperiled island biodiversity on earth. Dr. Salaman is a recognized expert on global biodiversity conservation and has been heavily involved in advancing science-based conservation actions and priorities for the most threatened species, including directing urgent interventions to save Critically Endangered species at imminent risk of extinction. While he has authored many scientific papers and articles, Dr. Salaman has bridged the gap between academic research and on-the-ground conservation action across the tropics — including 30 years of research and conservation experience in South America. Dr. Salaman has long been involved with the Galapagos Islands and most recently helped establish the Jocotoco Galapagos Reserve in 2018.
Dr. Salaman graduated from the University of Oxford with a D.Phil in Tropical Ecology and conducted a post-doctoral fellowship at The Natural History Museum in London, UK. From 2002, he was based in Ecuador as a Biodiversity Science Coordinator for Conservation International before moving to the USA to direct the International Program of American Bird Conservancy. From 2012-2019, Dr. Salaman was the CEO of Rainforest Trust, which he grew from a staff of two to 45 and directed over $105 million in conservation funding to create new protected areas across 40 million acres of critical wildlands in 60 countries. Currently, he is a Henry Arnhold Fellow of the Mulago Foundation, a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, and serves on the Boards of the Rasmussen Family Foundation, Conservation Allies, and IUCN-US.
Vice President of Science and Conservation: James Gibbs
James P. Gibbs has been involved in research in the Galapagos Islands since 1981, when he served as a volunteer on Peter and Rosemary Grant’s Darwin’s Finch projects, living and measuring finches for many months on Daphne Island and then again for many more on Genovesa Island. Some 60 trips to Galapagos later, James is now co-leader (with Wacho Tapia) of the Galapagos Conservancy’s Galapagos Tortoise Restoration Initiative overseeing the program of research behind tortoise restoration as well as advising on other topics such as ecological monitoring and research investments. He is Distinguished Professor at the State University of New York’s College of Environmental Science and Forestry in Syracuse where he teaches courses in Conservation Biology and Herpetology. He has proudly served as “Wise Sage” with the Prometeo Program of the National Secretariat of Higher Education, Science, Technology and Innovation of Ecuador (2012-2014). In addition to work in Galapagos he has worked extensively on conservation projects in many other parts of the world including Tanzania (endangered amphibians), Russia (snow leopards and argali), and Brazil (river turtles).
Senior Director, Operations: Amy Doherty
Amy Doherty joined Galapagos Conservancy in 2013 as the Donor Services Manager. Since then, her role has evolved to provide meticulous support for the organization’s internal operations as well as program coordination of the Education for Sustainability project area. Amy holds Bachelor’s degrees in Environmental Studies, Spanish, and Anthropology, and has traveled, studied, and worked in Latin America, the Caribbean, Asia, and the Pacific. Amy’s background in the government, non-profit, and private sectors gives her a strong commitment to organizational management that she uses to provide donors with the best return on their investment. She has a personal passion for conservation, and in her free time enjoys a wide range of outdoor activities.
General Director: Washington Tapia
Washington (Wacho) Tapia is the Galapagos-based Director of the Giant Tortoise Restoration Initiative (GTRI). A Galapagos native and reptile expert with decades of field experience, Wacho has been working for Galapagos conservation since volunteering at the tortoise and land iguana breeding and rearing centers at the Charles Darwin Research Station following high school. He completed his graduate thesis on the giant tortoises of Cinco Cerros on southern Isabela Island under the supervision of Dr. Cayot. He then worked for the Galapagos National Park Directorate for 15 years, leading their science program and technical group. In April 2014, Wacho joined the staff of Galapagos Conservancy to direct the GTRI. His work involves constant collaboration with the Galapagos National Park Directorate. He coordinates and leads all GTRI fieldwork and plays a vital role in ecosystem conservation work in Galapagos.
President Emerita: Johannah Barry
Johannah E. Barry is founder and President of Galapagos Conservancy and advanced the organization’s mission to preserve and protect the Galapagos Islands from 1985 to 2020. Her background includes more than 40 years of institutional advancement and organizational development. She held senior fundraising positions with the World Conservation Union (US), The Wilderness Society, Resources for the Future and served as consultant to the Weyerhaeuser Company Foundation, Henry A. Wallace Institute for Alternative Agriculture, and the Audubon Naturalist Society. Ms. Barry holds a Master’s degree from the University of Virginia.
Director of Outreach and Philanthropy: Alex Antram
Alex Antram is a conservation engagement professional with 14 years’ experience in nonprofit communications and outreach, environmental education, and philanthropy focused on protecting the planet and its people. She is passionate about connecting others to nature and has applied that enthusiasm to fostering meaningful relationships with Galapagos Conservancy’s supporters since March 2021. Alex completed undergraduate and graduate work in anthropology, religious studies, and environmental conflict analysis and resolution at George Mason University and holds an MA in ecological anthropology from the University of Texas at San Antonio. She has worked in Central and South America, Oceania, and throughout the United States, and eagerly applies the lessons she’s learned working across disciplines and cultures to her time with Galapagos Conservancy.
Executive Assistant: Cathy Blowers
Cathy was an American diplomat for 21 years, serving at U.S. Embassies in Mozambique, Southern Africa, and Egypt before retiring in 2016. She is passionate about natural resource preservation, wildlife conservation, humane treatment of animals, and all issues related to the natural world. She nurtured these interests throughout the years by honing her birdwatching skills, earning certificates in the Master Naturalist and Master Gardening Programs in Fairfax County, Virginia, promoting use of native plants, and volunteering in efforts to remove invasive plant species from natural areas of northern Virginia. Catherine wants to build on these experiences so she can be an effective and knowledgeable advocate for environmental causes. Cathy has three grown daughters and lives in Reston, Virginia.
Comptroller: Yolanda Bulick
Yolanda Bulick is a Certified Public Accountant with over 35 years of experience in accounting and is a Certified Nonprofit Accountant. She has worked in public, private, higher education and the last 16 years in the nonprofit sector. She holds a Bachelor of Business Administration Degree from Texas A&M International University. Yolanda is married to John, a former USAF colonel and has two young adult sons, Jonathon and Tristan.
Director of Conservation: Jorge Carrión
Dr. Jorge Carrión joined Galapagos Conservancy in May 2021 as the Conservation Manager to oversee the Rewilding program, including work with Wacho Tapia on the Giant Tortoise Restoration Initiative (GTRI). Jorge worked for the Galapagos National Park Directorate (GNPD) from 2012 to 2020, including a two-year term as Director from 2018 to 2020 during which he oversaw all aspects of the management of the Galapagos National Park and Galapagos Marine Reserve. Concurrently with his GNPD role, he managed migratory species protection efforts as Secretary of the Eastern Tropical Pacific Marine Corridor. Jorge holds a PhD in conservation biology from the Universidad de Sevilla in Seville, Spain, and was a professor at the Central University of Ecuador in Galapagos.
Galapagos Conservation Assistant: Willians Castro
Willians Castro brought with him 30 years of operations and logistics experience when he joined Galapagos Conservancy in 2017. We benefit from his experience gained in 12 years with Ecuadorian civil aviation in Guayaquil before being recruited as head of maintenance for the Charles Darwin Foundation, a post he held for 12 years, later managing the largest Galapagos taxi cooperative for four years as well as his own small scale enterprises in catering, equipment sales and as a qualified electrician. If it needs fixing or sorting out, there is only one person to call: Willians Castro. Between Willians, his wife and their adult children in professional posts in Galapagos, the support network available to Galapagos Conservancy in the Islands and mainland Ecuador is incomparable.
Environmental Journalist: Xavier Castro
Xavier Castro is the journalist for Galapagos Conservancy. With a bachelor’s in social communication, Xavier has more than 20 years of experience in writing and reporting on conservation and sustainable development in the Galapagos Islands. He has developed and implemented communication strategies for the Galapagos National Park, the Galapagos Governing Council, Communication Secretariat of the Ecuadorian Government, as well as various NGOs and International Cooperation Agencies from Spain and Japan like Araucaria and JICA. He specializes in the design of communication strategies, environmental journalism, audiovisual production, photography, filmmaking and graphic design. His passion is to contribute to creating a well-informed society aware of the fragility of the Galapagos ecosystems, and using his communications experience and skills to promote a sustainable and environmentally friendly lifestyle.
Field Assistant – Iniciativa Galapagos: Walter Chimborazo
Walter Chimborazo has worked as a field assistant for the Giant Tortoise Restoration Initiative (GTRI) since 2015. His primary responsibility is to collaborate in the management of the Fausto Llerena Giant Tortoise Breeding Center on Santa Cruz Island with the Galapagos National Park Directorate.
A native galapagueño, Walter has demonstrated great dedication and patience in working with giant tortoises over the years. He follows in the footsteps of his father, Alfredo Chimborazo, who worked in the Santa Cruz tortoise center for more than a decade in the 1980s and 1990s.
Director of Communications: Tim Dobyns
Tim Dobyns joined Galapagos Conservancy in March 2021 and leads the organization’s communications strategy and execution, including digital and editorial content creation, digital fundraising, email marketing, social, and web. By using powerful writing and visual storytelling to educate, engage, and inspire action, Tim strives to connect existing and new supporters and donors with the extraordinary wildlife and habitats of Galapagos, and with the critical conservation mission of Galapagos Conservancy. He has held a variety of roles in his 10+ year career in communications and marketing, including in international human rights, higher education, and sports. Tim holds a BA in International Studies and Spanish from UW-Madison and an MBA in Marketing from the University of Oregon.
Acting Director of Philanthropy: Cecil Hynds-Riddle
Cecil Hynds-Riddle follows a community-building approach to philanthropy and hopes to engage people with the natural world by empowering them to protect it. She has professional experience in community organizing, communications, and fundraising. Her past roles include: field organizer for Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign, English teacher in South Korea, small business owner, and habitat restorationist in the Forest Preserves of the Chicago region – where she has a reputation as a protector of salamanders. She holds a bachelor’s degree in government from the University of Texas at Austin. As a child, Cecil imagined becoming a herpetologist to study Galápagos Giant Tortoises. She was honored to join Galápagos Conservancy in August 2021.
Director of Strategic Partnerships: Richard Knab
Richard Knab has focused his attention on education, conservation and sustainable development in Latin America since serving as a Peace Corps volunteer in Honduras (1987-1990), where he worked with small farmers on soil conservation, irrigation and cooperative-related projects. Following Masters studies at the University of Pennsylvania, he began a 10-year stint with Zamorano University in Honduras, holding various positions related to project development, fundraising, institutional communications, and strategic planning. Richard has worked with Galapagos Conservancy since 2004 and coordinates our Sustainable Society program and fundraises for all of our programs. He is particularly passionate about opportunities in Galapagos to strengthen formal and non-formal education, civil society, and citizen engagement in conservation.
Administrative Assistant: Judith Moreira
Judith Moreira has a degree in Commerce and Administration Sciences and has worked for the Galapagos National Park as Financial Assistant and later with the Charles Darwin Foundation in the Accounting department and support in the Archive and itineraries area. She firmly believes that Galapagos is a paradise, that it is a privilege and responsibility to live on the islands, and that it is critical to take care of them and keep them unique. She is now part of the staff of the Galapagos Conservancy to support administrative activities that allow scientists to carry out their conservation work on the unique species of the Islands.
Digital Media Officer: Aaron Provencio
Aaron Provencio joined Galapagos Conservancy in June of 2021 with the goal of helping to connect the world to the unique ecological and social conditions of the Galapagos Archipelago, as well as to engage the public in the work of the Conservancy itself through visual and written storytelling on the Conservancy’s website and various social media platforms. With a degree in Wildlife Biology from Colorado State University and a passion for connecting people with the wonders of nature, Aaron came to us from the Wildlife Center of Virginia, where he helped to navigate the organization through the pandemic by producing a wide variety of digital communications. Aaron’s ultimate goal is to continue to share his energy and love for the field of conservation with anyone who will listen, in the hopes that he can help to protect this green planet well into the future.
Membership Officer: Liza Saracina
Liza Saracina’s love of the Galapagos Islands started as a young child when she was introduced to the Galapagos Tortoise. Her career in fundraising began at her alma mater, the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, and she is excited to now bring her expertise to Galapagos Conservancy. In her work with the conservancy, she hopes to be the voice of the voiceless by bringing awareness to the unique animals on the Galapagos Islands that greatly need our support. In addition to her passion for conservation, Liza is also an accomplished oboist who has received a bachelor’s degree, master’s degree, and artist diploma in music performance. In her free time, she plays with several orchestras in the Midwest, spends time with her wife, dog, Hermann’s tortoise, and pea pufferfish, and loves to make homemade gnocchi to celebrate her Italian heritage.
Conservation Center Coordinator: Ivonne Torres
Ivonne has been in love with the Galapagos Islands since she was a child. She is a tourism specialist. The islands and their protection have led her to work as a naturalist guide, being able to communicate to our visitors the importance of Galapagos and preserving it as one of the most unique places of the world. Her experience is varied. The Charles Darwin Foundation hired her as a liaison between the scientific and tourism sectors of the islands, allowing her to show the importance of science for conservation. She also worked, for several years, as Director of Sustainable Development for the City of Santa Cruz, Galapagos. This gave her the opportunity to work hands-on with the Fishing, agricultural and tourism sectors and their role on the sustainable balance of the islands. Now Ivonne has joined the team as the Coordinator for our Conservation Center in Galapagos.
Director of Operations: Gabriela Vivas
Gabriela is an economist and joined the Galapagos Conservancy team in November 2021 as the Operations Manager, directly supporting the coordination of local activities in Galapagos. She worked for the Galapagos National Park Directorate from 2013 to 2018, serving as Administrative Financial Manager (2013-2015) and Director of the Isabela Technical Operational Unit (2016-2018); and for Island Conservation in the execution of the GEF Project “Safeguarding Biosecurity in the Galapagos Islands” (2019-October 2021), a project that developed support activities for the Ecological Restoration Project on Floreana Island prior to its implementation. In the GEF project, she started as a Technical-Financial Assistant and later became a Restoration Specialist, which allowed her to acquire knowledge in the development of projects related to conservation and become more involved in the work of Galapagos Conservancy in the Galapagos Islands as a co-executor of the GEF project.
Philanthropy Officer: Kelly Weatherman
Kelly Weatherman is a nonprofit manager and communications professional with 9 years of experience connecting with people and communities to build strong relationships. She joined Galapagos Conservancy in March 2022 to support the Outreach and Philanthropy Team. Kelly graduated from Arkansas State University with a master’s in public administration focused on nonprofit management in 2021 and holds an undergraduate degree in human dimensions of natural resources from Colorado State University. Ever since her childhood, she has had a passion for environmental conservation and believes sustainable solutions require collaboration with the local communities on the ground. Throughout her career, she has traveled and volunteered for wildlife conservation organizations in the United States, South America, and South Africa.
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