David O'Neill

Chief Conservation Officer and Senior Advisor to the CEO

David O’Neill is the Chief Conservation Officer and Senior Advisor to the CEO for the National Audubon Society. In this role, he is responsible for creating and advancing the implementation of an organization-wide conservation vision, developing conservation strategies with clearly defined outcomes and ensuring their successful delivery using science-based accountability tools. He manages the organization’s science and policy departments, working with the leaders of those teams to shape advocacy and science agendas that reinforce one another and advance Audubon’s conservation strategies.  

As a senior advisor, David provides CEO David Yarnold with organizational development advice and is a fundraising partner. He is also the President of the Audubon Action Fund, Audubon's 501c4 partner organization.    

Prior to joining Audubon, David served as the vice president for Conservation Programs at the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) where he managed a national conservation team and oversaw a $100 million grant portfolio focused on a range of conservation issues including forest health, coastal resilience, estuaries and freshwater biodiversity. David worked closely with senior administrative officials from the Departments of Interior, Agriculture and EPA to shape and advance conservation strategies across the country. He raised tens of millions of dollars from foundations, individuals and corporations to support NFWF priorities.  

O’Neill has served in executive positions in both the private and non-profit sectors, including as a vice president for Cherokee Investment Partners, a private equity firm based in North Carolina, as the Executive Director of the Chesapeake Bay Trust, where he grew the organization and its influence across the Chesapeake watershed, and as the Director of Land Use Policy for the Urban Land Institute. He is the author of many publications on the relationship between land use and environmental health and was the recipient of the prestigious Andrew White Medal from Loyola University for his contributions to the recovery of the Chesapeake Bay.