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
Jane Alexander, of Lockeport, Nova Scotia and Dobbs Ferry, New York, is a Tony- and Emmy-award winning actress, four-time Oscar nominee, 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.
Karim Al-Khafaji, of Palo Alto, California, is the regional director 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.
Leigh Altadonna, of Wyncote, Pennsylvania, is the regional director for National Audubon Society’s Atlantic-North Region. Leigh currently serves on the board of Audubon Pennsylvania and is the chair of the Stewardship Board of the John James Audubon Center at Mill Grove. He is also a member of the board of the Wyncote Audubon Society where he is chair of the Crosswicks Sanctuary Committee. Crosswicks is the only National Audubon Society Sanctuary located in Pennsylvania. Leigh is Assistant Superintendent in the Abington School District located in Abington, Pennsylvania. He has been employed in the district, serving in various positions, for 44 years. Leigh is co-chair of the Abington Educational Foundation as well as the Abington Human Relations Advisory Council. He also serves on the boards of the Abington Community Taskforce, the Montgomery County Advisory Board for Parks and Heritage, and the Briar Bush Nature Center in Abington, Pennsylvania.
Susan Bell, of Menlo Park, California, is Principal of Susan Bell & Associates and Senior Advisor to Stanford University's Woods Institute for the Environment. She works with clients and faculty on projects in energy efficiency and climate, sustainable development, water resources, global conservation and education, helping leaders develop goals and strategies and build strong and effective organizations. Previously, Susan was Vice President for The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. At Hewlett, 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 governance and management, funding communications, evaluation and collaboration at Stanford University, the Sierra Club, and Northwestern University and on the boards she serves. At Stanford, she helped to establish and promote the Environmental and Natural Resources Law & Policy Program. Susan serves as Vice Chair of the boards and Chair of the Nominating and Governance Committees of the European Climate Foundation and the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions at Duke University and is a board member of the Monterey Bay Aquarium.
Joseph Ellis, of West 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) and the Housatonic Valley Association. Mr. Ellis has also served on the Governing Council of The Wilderness Society and 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.
Joy Hester, of Houston, Texas, is the regional director for National Audubon Society’s Central-South Region. Prior to that she served as Executive Director and President of Houston Audubon and now serves on its Board of Advisors. A retired attorney with a former practice in land transactions and contract issues, she has also served on the Board of Directors of Audubon Texas and on the boards of Texas Land Trust Council and Galveston Bay Foundation.
Hector E. Morales Jr., of Washington, D.C., 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 Defenders of Wildlife and numerous science advisory boards.
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 director for National Audubon Society's Mississippi-North 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, Inc. since founding the company in 1989. The company designs and produces structural, lightweight panels and panel systems for non-aerospace applications with an annual capacity of 50M square feet of panel. He serves on many non-profit boards in leadership positions including Belwin Conservancy, Conservation Minnesota, Land Trust Alliance, Island Conservation and the Lessard-Sams Outdoor Heritage Council. 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 over 25 years. He serves on numerous other for-profit and foundation boards. He and his wife enjoy travel to distant places and have 4 children and 7 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 the co-founder and Managing Director of Overseas Strategic Consulting, Ltd. He serves on the boards of the Middlesex School, Jerusalem Foundation, and Academy of Natural Sciences. Mr. Model is Chair of the Leo Model Foundation.
David Roux of Upperville, VA is co-founder and Senior Director of Silver Lake, where he previously served as Chairman and co-CEO. 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. Previously, Mr. Roux was a board member of Intelsat, Business Objects S.A., Gartner, Inc., Serena Software, Symantec, Thomson, UGS Corp., and was the Chairman of the Board of Seagate Technology and Avaya. He serves today on the boards of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, National Audubon Society, Jackson Laboratories and Bowdoin College. 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 Atlantic-South Region. He is a retired academic medical practice administrator. Hugh serves as Vice President of the Chesapeake Audubon Society and Chapter Relations Committee Chair of the Audubon Maryland-DC State Board. He is the former President and Treasurer of the Chesapeake Audubon Society, former board member of the Pickering Creek Audubon Center 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 Pacific-North 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 President of DBF Associates and Senior Advisor to Gatemore Capital Management, LLC, a private wealth and institutional investment management firm. He is the Chairman of Princess Pictures, a family entertainment motion pictures and television company. Mr. Ford retired in 2003, after 33 years at The Goldman Sachs Group, where he was a Managing Director and co-head of Global Asset Management. Prior to that position he was a General Partner and head of Fixed Income Sales at Goldman, Sachs & Co. Mr. Ford devotes substantial time to charitable and non-profit organizations. He is a member of the Board and Director/Trustee of the National Audubon Society, the New School University, the World Monuments Fund, The Redwood Library and Athenaeum, The Animal Medical Center, The International Tennis Hall of Fame and The Preservation Society of Newport County. He formerly served as a Trustee of Florida State University and on the Board of Overseers of the Wharton School. Mr. Ford received his B.S. from Florida State University and an M.B.A. from The University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School.
Jeffrey Goodby, of Oakland, California, is co-founder and co-chairman of Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, the company 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.
Stephanie Little, of Morro Bay, California, is the regional director 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 chair of the Audubon California Advisory Board in which she has served for over 6 years. Kristi spent her career in the software industry, managing a team at Kana Communications and prior to that she worked at Netscape Communications and Bain & Company. Growing up in Santa Cruz and spending summers backpacking in the Sierras, Kristi has always loved the natural world and being active in nature. She continues to enjoy exploring Northern California, as well as Western Colorado and Montana with her husband, Tom, and their two children.
Jack Stewart, of Jasper, Arkansas, is the regional director for National Audubon Society’s Mississippi-South Region. He is a past President of the Arkansas Audubon Society and is the current Education Chair. Jack is the Vice President of the Buffalo River Watershed Alliance. 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.