Monday Keynote

Establishing Wildlife Conservation Partnerships to Drive Results

DATE: Sept 25, 2017
TIME: 8:30-10 a.m.
LOCATION: Kiva Auditorium


Collin O’Mara
President and CEO, National Wildlife Federation

Collin O’Mara is the President and CEO of the National Wildlife Federation, America’s largest wildlife conservation organization with more than six million members and 51 state and territorial affiliates.  Under O’Mara’s leadership, the National Wildlife Federation is focused on uniting all Americans to ensure wildlife thrive in a rapidly changing world. He sits on several councils and panels, represents NWF in many partnerships and alliances, and is regularly called before Congress to testify about wildlife, water, and sportsmen issues. Prior to his current position, O’Mara led the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control as Cabinet Secretary. A native of Syracuse, New York, O’Mara was a Marshall Scholar at the University of Oxford, a University Fellow at the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, and a Presidential Scholar at Dartmouth College. He is a Catto Fellow at the Aspen Institute, a US Green Building Council LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) accredited professional, and completed Stanford Business School’s Executive Management Program in Environmental Sustainability.


Jennifer Owen-White
Refuge Manager, Valle de Oro National Wildlife Refuge

Jennifer Owen-White is the first refuge manager of the new Valle de Oro National Wildlife Refuge in Albuquerque. Valle de Oro is the first urban refuge in the Southwest and part of a larger push by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to reach urban audiences and connect them to the important habitats and wildlife that the Service protects. Before taking the position at Valle de Oro, Jennifer was the Refuge Manager at the Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge and also served as the Visitor Service manager for the South Texas Refuge Complex. Jennifer is proud to be both a wildlife biologist and visitor services specialist. She was born in Chicago, grew up in Houston, and has a B.S. in Biology as well as an M.S. in Wildlife Science from Texas Tech University. Jennifer is completing her Ph.D. in Forestry and Natural Resource Interpretation from Stephen F. Austin State University where she has focused on connecting urban communities to conservation and the outdoors.


Bill Clay
Deputy Administrator, USDA-APHIS Wildlife Services

As Deputy Administrator for USDA-APHIS Wildlife Services, Bill Clay is responsible for overall planning, coordinating, and direction of the national WS operational and research programs. This includes the oversight of program activities throughout the continental United States, and in Alaska, Hawaii, Guam, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands; and the supervision and management of 2,020 employees nationwide. Before assuming the role of Deputy Administrator in August of 2000, Clay was the Associate Deputy Administrator for Wildlife Services and Director of the Operational Support Staff in Wildlife Services. Prior to that, he served as the State Director for the WS program in North Dakota, and Assistant to the State Director for the Texas WS program. He is a native of San Antonio, Texas, holds a bachelor’s degree in Wildlife Management from Texas Tech University, and is a Certified Wildlife Biologist.


Wildlife conservation efforts often mandate collaboration with a wide variety of stakeholders, but increasingly agencies, businesses and organizations are strategically and thoughtfully forming effective partnerships to tap into a wider range of expertise and resources. However, these partnerships can create a frustrating sense of inertia as competing voices and agendas emerge, and scheduling conflicts and waning interest of individuals can derail progress. As a result, finding the right partners who can truly add value, establishing effective communications and resource-sharing processes, and coordinating operational efforts that produce high-impact information and results can be daunting, yet highly-important tasks. Through both recent and current planning, engagement and execution activities within their respective organizations, the speakers in this session will share the vision, strategies and tactics that they are using to build effective wildlife conservation partnerships that will drive desired results and outcomes.


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