Dr. Elizabeth Gray is Chief Executive Officer of the National Audubon Society, leading one of the most influential environmental organizations towards a future where birds thrive. Elizabeth is a champion of science-based conservation and renowned expert in the field of global conservation and climate change.
Elizabeth joined Audubon in March 2021 as President and Chief Conservation Officer; she was named Chief Executive Officer later that same year. She is the first woman since Audubon’s founding in 1905 to hold the role. She leads more than 700 staff working together across the Americas to alter the course of climate change and habitat loss. Since her arrival, she has led the completion of a landmark $826m campaign, the release of the groundbreaking Migratory Bird Explorer, and the organization’s unifying Flight Plan strategy which codifies Audubon’s commitment to a hemispheric approach to conservation. Under Elizabeth’s leadership, Audubon has elevated equity, diversity, inclusion, and belonging (EDIB) as a driver of the organization’s work across the Americas, codified in a set of EDIB Conservation Principles.
Prior to joining Audubon she served as the Global Managing Director of The Nature Conservancy’s (TNC) Climate Change program. Trained as an ornithologist, she has spent 30+ years as a dedicated conservationist, spending considerable time in the field nationally and abroad. Elizabeth has been a leader on equity issues, from founding the first urban conservation program in Washington, D.C., to empowering the next generation of conservation leaders through a young professional’s network and youth advocacy program, to serving as one of five members of TNC’s Global Gender Equity Council. She holds a Ph.D. in ecology from the University of Washington and an A.B. with highest honors in psychology from Harvard University.