Board of Directors
Following is a list of NAS Directors, including city of residence and years in which terms expire. If you have questions about the NAS Board, please send them in an email.
The Board of Directors meets three times a year in locations throughout the country in order to build our network of state offices, nature centers and local chapters. Meetings are open to the public; view the schedule here.
The National Audubon Society's Board of Directors has nine Regional Directors -- members elected by chapters. If you have any questions about Audubon that cannot be answered by your local chapter or your state office, or if you do not have a local chapter or state office, please contact your regional Board member.
Mary McDermott Cook
Alan R. Dolan
David B. Ford
David B. Hartwell
Allen J. Model
Hector E. Morales, Jr.
Terry L. Root
B. Holt Thrasher (Chair)
Alexander E. Zagoreos
Board member biographies:
Class of 2014
Karim Al-Khafaji, of Palo Alto, California, is the regional director nominee for National Audubon’s Pan-Flyway Region. He serves on the board of the Golden Gate Audubon Society, one of the oldest and largest chapters in California. Professionally, Karim is a manager with the Bridgespan Group where he has helped foundations and nonprofit organizations develop program strategy, measure performance, plan for network expansion, develop viable funding approaches, and build their organizations. Previously, Karim worked as an environmental engineer and scientist with the Parsons Corporation, a global engineering and construction firm. Karim earned his Ph.D. in Ecology from Stanford University where he focused on population dynamics and demography.
Jane Alexander, of Dobbs Ferry, New York, is a Tony- and Emmy-award winning actress, author, and wildlife advocate. She is known for her roles in “The Great White Hope,” “All the President’s Men,” “Eleanor and Franklin” and “Playing for Time,” among others. She chaired the National Endowment for the Arts under President Clinton, and she has served on boards and councils for many wildlife and conservation organizations, including Panthera and BirdLife International. In 2012, she received the Indianapolis Prize’s inaugural Jane Alexander Global Wildlife Ambassador Award.
Leigh Altadonna of Wyncote, Pennsylvania is the regional director nominee for National Audubon Society’s Eastern Region. He is Assistant Superintendent of School in the Abington School District in Abington, Pennsylvania, where he has been employed in various positions for 41 years. Leigh is past President of the Audubon Council of Pennsylvania and Vice Chairman of Audubon Pennsylvania. He is currently Chair of the Stewardship Board of the John James Audubon Center at Mill Grove and a board member of the Wyncote Audubon Society where he is Chair of the Crosswicks Sanctuary Committee. Leigh also serves on the boards of the Abington Educational Foundation, Abington Community Taskforce, Montgomery County Advisory Board for History and Cultural Arts, and is Co-chair of the Abington Human Relations Advisory Council.
Susan Bell, of Palo Alto, California, is Senior Advisor to Stanford University’s Woods Institute for the Environment. Prior to Stanford, she was Vice President for The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation for thirteen years. She also served as Senior Fellow for Energy and Climate, directing a portfolio of environmental grants in the United States, Europe, China, Mexico, and Brazil designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and slow global warming. She helped launch the ClimateWorks Foundation and Network, a set of global grant-making organizations that promote public policies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the highest carbon emitting regions and economic sectors in the world. Susan’s career includes work in strategic planning, development, and communications at Stanford University, the Sierra Club, and Northwestern University. At Stanford, she helped to establish and promote the Environmental and Natural Resources Law & Policy Program. Susan serves as Vice Chair of the boards of the European Climate Foundation and the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions at Duke University.
Joseph Ellis of Cornwall, Connecticut, is a former Partner and Advisory Director at Goldman, Sachs & Co., where he served as the firm's principal liaison and consultant with retailers around the world. Mr. Ellis has served as Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees of The New York State Nature Conservancy. He is on the Board of Trustees of RARE (a non-profit organization specializing in environmental conservation and sustainable economic development in developing countries), the Governing Council of the Wilderness Society, and on the President’s Council of World Wildlife Fund. Mr. Ellis has also served on the boards of directors of Coach, Inc. and Waterworks, Inc. Mr. Ellis is author of Ahead of the Curve: A Commonsense Guide to Forecasting Business and Market Cycles, published in October 2005 by Harvard Business School Press, as well as Birds in Wood and Paint: American Miniature Bird Carvings and Their Carvers, 1900-1970, published in October 2009 by University Press of New England.
Margot Ernst of New York, New York is Secretary of National Audubon, Chair of the Development Committee, and also serves on the Education, Chapters and Centers Committee. She is a retired Curator and Associate Director of the Japan Society Gallery. She writes and lectures on Japanese art and cuisine and has edited several books on Japanese culture. Ms. Ernst is Co-Chair of the Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian in New York, New York. She is an honorary trustee of the Adirondack Museum and serves on several environmental and cultural boards in the Adirondacks where she owns an inn with her husband and lives part-time. She is a member of the Audubon New York Advisory Board focusing on development issues.
Joy Hester of Houston, Texas is the regional director nominee for National Audubon Society’s Southwest Region. She is a past President of Houston Audubon Society and currently serves on its Board of Directors as a member of the Executive Committee. She has also served on the Board of Directors of Audubon Texas (2006-2009) and on the boards of Texas Land Trust Council and Galveston Bay Foundation. She is a retired attorney with a former practice in land transactions and contract issues.
Peggy Montaño of Denver, Colorado is a partner at Trout, Raley, Montaño, Witwer & Freeman, P.C. She served as an Assistant Attorney General for the State of Colorado, a Special Assistant to the Attorney General for the State of New Mexico and as an advisor to the University of Colorado Natural Resource Law Center. Ms. Montaño is the former Chair of the Colorado State Parks Board and a former member of the Audubon Colorado Advisory Board.
Hector E. Morales Jr. of Washington DC is Vice Chairman of Global Strategic Associates LLC which provides strategic consulting and investment advisory services to clients in the US, Asia, and Latin America. He is also Of Counsel at Baker McKenzie LLP. He served as the US Permanent Representative to the Organization of American States and was the lead negotiator for Presidents Bush and Obama in preparations for the Fifth Summit of the Americas. Prior to that, he served as US Executive Director at the Inter-American Development Bank and as a member of the board of the Inter-American Foundation.
Terry L. Root of Stanford, California is a Senior Fellow in Woods Institute for the Environment and Professor by Courtesy in Biology at Stanford University. She was a Lead Author, focusing on biological impacts, on the third and fourth assessment reports of the Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change, the latter of which shared the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007 with Vice President Gore. She is a Review Editor for the fifth assessment report. Her research, beginning with her pioneering large-scale research examining continent-wide ranges and densities of wintering North American birds using National Audubon’s Christmas Bird Count Data, focuses on large-scale ecological consequences of climate disruption. Dr. Root is on the board of PRBO Conservation Science and the scientific advisory board of Defenders of Wildlife.
B. Holt Thrasher of Greenwich, Connecticut is Managing Director and founder of Mooreland Partners and Chair of the Board of National Audubon Society. Holt has 25 years of investment banking, operating management and consulting experience specializing in the Technology and Communications Industries. Holt previously served as Chair of the Audubon Connecticut Advisory Board since 2001 and is on the Board of the Connecticut League of Conservation Voters. He also serves on the Advisory Board of Jefferson Partners Capital, a Toronto-based technology venture capital firm.
Class of 2015
Alan R. Dolan of Massillon, Ohio is the regional candidate for National Audubon Society's Central Great Lakes Region. He is President, Membership Database Chair and Newsletter Editor of the Canton Audubon Society and former Treasurer of the Council of Ohio Audubon Chapters. Mr. Dolan is the former First Vice President and Secretary of the Canton Audubon Society and former President and Vice President of the Council of Ohio Audubon Chapters.
David Hartwell of Minneapolis, Minnesota has been President of Bellcomb Technologies since founding the company in 1989. The company designs and produces structural, lightweight panels and panel systems for non aerospace. He has served on many non-profit boards including Belwin Conservancy, Conservation Minnesota, Land Trust Alliance, Lessard-Sams Outdoor Heritage Council, Minneapolis College of Art and Design, Minnesota Audubon and the Mississippi River Fund. In 2001 he began to build a coalition of conservation groups that culminated in 2008 with the passage by the voters in Minnesota of a constitutional amendment that will raise an estimated $6 billion dollars for conservation in the next 25 years. He also serves on numerous for-profit and foundation boards. He and his wife enjoy travel to distant places and have 4 children and 4 grandchildren. He is an avid birdwatcher and gardener.
Alexis Maybank of New York, New York. In 2007, Alexis and a founding team conceived of and built Gilt Groupe. She served as Gilt's Founding CEO, later its President, Gilt Home, CMO and Chief Strategy Officer. Prior to founding Gilt Groupe, Alexis was General Manager of AOL's ecommerce businesses. In 1998, she became an early member of the eBay team, where she joined the company's first strategic planning group led by cofounder Jeff Skoll. She launched and ran eBay Canada, which became Canada's largest ecommerce business. She helped found eBay Motors, which grew to over $2.5 billion in sales. Alexis holds a B.S. and M.B.A. from Harvard. She is author of the New York Times bestseller, By Invitation Only. She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and Springboard Enterprises' Media/Tech Council and is a Director for Girls Who Code. Alexis previously served on the Audubon Alaska board and is a long time Chair of Audubon’s Women in Conservation program. In 2010, she was named to Crain's "40 Under 40" and received Ernst and Young's New York Entrepreneur of the Year Award.
Allen J. Model of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania is Treasurer of National Audubon Society and Chair of its Planning and Finance Committee. Mr. Model is the co-founder and Managing Director of Overseas Strategic Consulting, Ltd. He serves on the boards of the Wildlife Trust, Middlesex School, Jerusalem Foundation, Women's Way and Bach Festival of Philadelphia. Mr. Model is Chair of the Leo Model Foundation.
David Roux of Upperville, VA is co-founder and Senior Director of Silver Lake. He was formerly Chairman and CEO of Liberate Technologies, Executive Vice President at Oracle Corporation and Senior Vice President at Lotus Development. Mr. Roux began his technology career as co-founder and CEO of Datext, Inc., the first commercial CD-ROM publishing company. He is currently a member of the Avaya and Intelsat boards. Previously, Mr. Roux was a board member of Business Objects S.A., Gartner, Inc., Serena Software, Symantec, Thomson, UGS Corp., and was the Chairman of the Board of Seagate Technology. He is also on the board of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, Jackson Laboratories and the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University. Mr. Roux holds an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School and an M. Phil. from King’s College, Cambridge University. He is a graduate of Harvard College.
Hugh Simmons of Phoenix, Maryland is the regional director for National Audubon Society's Mid-Atlantic Region. He is Senior Administrator of the Department of Anesthesiology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. Hugh serves as Vice President of the Chesapeake Audubon Society; Chapter Relations Committee Chair of the Audubon Maryland-DC State Board; and board member of the Pickering Creek Audubon Center. He is the former President and Treasurer of the Chesapeake Audubon Society and former chapter representative and Secretary of the Audubon Maryland-DC State Board.
Marina Skumanich of Seattle, Washington is the regional director for National Audubon Society's Northwest Region. She has served as Interim Director, Conservation Chair, and President of the Board of Seattle Audubon Society, and has been active in the Audubon community for many years. She has also served on various other non-profit boards in both environmental and social justice arenas. She is a former senior research scientist specializing in pollution prevention at the Battelle Seattle Research Center, and is currently self-employed as an environmental policy consultant.
Alexander E. Zagoreos of New York, New York is a recently retired partner of Lazard LLC and a senior advisor to its asset management business. He is the Treasurer and a member of the Development Committee of Audubon New York, and a Trustee of the Brooklyn Bridge Conservancy. Mr. Zagoreos is a former President of Scenic Hudson, Inc, a former Trustee of Scenic Hudson Land Trust and a former Trustee of Hudson Riverkeeper, Inc.
Class of 2016
Mary McDermott Cook of Dallas, Texas, is President of the Eugene McDermott Foundation. She is a Founding Member of the Trinity River Audubon Center, Chair of the Trinity Trust Board for the overall Trinity River Project (of which the Trinity River Audubon Center is the cornerstone), Vice Chair of the Dallas Museum of Art Board, and on the Executive Committee of the Dallas Zoological Society. She enjoys spending her time with her many dogs and at her ranch in North Texas.
David B. Ford of New York, New York is currently the President of DBF Associates, a private investment firm, and Senior Advisor to Gatemore Capital Management, LLC, a private wealth and institutional investment management firm. David was previously with the Goldman Sachs Group, where he was a Managing Director and co-head of Global Asset Management. He serves as a Trustee and Vice Chairman of the Board of the New School University, a Trustee of Florida State University and is on the Board of Overseers of the Wharton School. David is a member of the Board and Director of the National Audubon Society, The Global Heritage Fund, The Redwood Library and The Preservation Society of Newport County. David received his B.S. from Florida State University and an M.B.A. from The University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School.
Frank Gill of Rushland, Pennsylvania is the retired Chief Scientist of National Audubon Society. He is former Vice President of the Academy of Natural Sciences and past President of the American Ornithologists’ Union. He is the author of Ornithology, 3e.
Jeffrey Goodby, of Oakland, California, is co-founder and co-chairman of Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, the company recently chosen by Adweek Magazine as Agency of the Decade. Many of the firm’s campaigns – got milk?, the Budweiser Lizards, Hewlett-Packard “Invent”, the National Basketball Association’s “I Love This Game”, and the E*TRADE chimpanzee among them – are in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. Mr. Goodby has served as President of the Cannes Advertising Festival and has been head of the Titanium Jury. He has also chaired judging for the ANDYS and the One Club advertising awards. In 2010, Adweek named him, along with Rich Silverstein, Executives of the Decade. In 2006, he was inducted into the Advertising Hall of Fame. Two commercials he directed were selected among the top 30 advertising films of the ‘90s by the One Club. Mr. Goodby graduated from Harvard where he wrote for The Harvard Lampoon, and spent three years as a political reporter in Boston, Massachusetts. Mr. Goodby is also a director, printmaker, and illustrator whose work has appeared in Time and Mother Jones. Mr. Goodby lives with his family, a dog, a cat, a rabbit, three horses, and probably some other things he doesn’t know about.
Constance Holsinger, of Lafayette, Colorado, is the regional director nominee for National Audubon’s Central-North Region. She is President of the Terra Foundation, a private, non-profit foundation committed to wildlife habitat protection, restoration and stewardship. Previous board involvement includes: Massachusetts Audubon Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary; The Nature Conservancy of Massachusetts (where she also served as a Volunteer Program Coordinator); Sanibel Captiva Conservation Foundation in Florida (where she also served as its President); Boulder County Audubon in Colorado; and Audubon Colorado. Ms. Holsinger was also a Project Coordinator for Colorado Wildscapes: Bringing Conservation Home, a gardening book linked to National Audubon Society’s Audubon At Home program.
Stephanie Little, of Morro Bay, California, is the regional director nominee for National Audubon Society’s Pacific-South region. She is a past President and Education Chair for Morro Coast Audubon Society and continues to play an active role on its Board of Directors. She is employed by California State Parks as an Environmental Scientist for Oceano Dunes State Vehicular Recreation Area and assists in monitoring Western Snowy Plover and California Least Tern populations. Ms. Little received an Environmental Studies degree from Principia College in Elsah, Illinois. She loves camping, cooking and is an avid gardener, traveler, and beachcomber.
Kristi Patterson of Portola Valley, California is a member of the Audubon California Advisory Board and serves as its Marketing Committee Chair. Previously she managed the Western region product implementation group of Kana Communications, a software startup company. She also created and led the education and training division for Kana’s training of employees, customers, and partners since 1998. Prior to Kana, Ms. Patterson worked at Bain Consulting and then Netscape Communications. She enjoys exploring Northern California, Western Colorado and Montana with her husband, Tom, and their two children.
Jack Stewart, of Jasper, Arkansas, is the regional director nominee for National Audubon Society’s Mississippi-South Region. He is a past President of the Arkansas Audubon Society. He also serves on the board of the Buffalo National River Partners. He was the first Director of the Whitney Eastman Nature Center, in Minnesota. Prior to retirement he was science educator for International Schools Services. Jack has served on the boards of the Newton County Resource Council in Arkansas; Kent Place School in New Jersey and the International School of Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia. Since retirement he has lived with his wife in an off-the-grid, sustainable home in the Ozark Mountains. He has studied birds and other wildlife on all continents except Antarctica.
Margaret Walker, of Seattle, Washington, is Chair of the Seattle Foundation board and is a board member of the University of Washington Foundation, where she chairs the Advisory Board of the College of the Environment. Ms. Walker also serves as Chair of the Bullitt Foundation Board of Directors and is Co-Chair of the Prosperity Partnership’s Cultural Task Force. Recently, she was reappointed Co-Chair of the Central Waterfront Committee and joined the Board of Global Partnerships. Ms. Walker is a past President of the Board of Trustees of the Henry Art Gallery at the University of Washington, past Chair of the Woodland Park Zoological Society’s Board of Directors, past Chair of the Board of the Washington Women’s Foundation and past President of the Seattle Art Museum Board. She is also a past President of the ARCS Foundation Seattle Chapter, past Chair of the Board of the Museum of History and Industry and past Chair of ARTFAIR SEATTLE. She is a past Vice-President of the board of Audubon Washington and Seattle Children’s Home. Ms. Walker attended Vanderbilt University and the University of Washington, and earned degrees in both History and Journalism. She and her husband, Doug, share a commitment to the environment, education and the arts, supporting them through the Walker Family Foundation at the Seattle Foundation. They were co-founders of Social Venture Partners, past co-chairs of the Campaign for Lake Union Park, and currently co-chair the North Cascades Initiative for the Wilderness Society.