2019 Audubon Convention Keynote Speakers

Our featured presenters.

Winona LaDuke
Winona LaDuke  is a rural development economist working on issues of economic, food, and energy sovereignty. She lives and works on the White Earth reservation in northern Minnesota, and leads several organizations including Honor the Earth, Anishinaabe Agriculture Institute, Akiing, and Winona’s Hemp.  These organizations develop and model cultural-based sustainable development strategies utilizing renewable energy and sustainable food systems.  She is an international thought leader in the areas of climate justice, renewable energy, and environmental justice.  She is also a leader in the work of  protecting Indigenous plants and heritage foods from patenting and genetic engineering.    She has authored six books including; Recovering the Sacred, All our Relations, Last Standing Woman, and her newest work The Winona LaDuke Chronicles.

Hahrie Han
Hahrie Han is the Anton Vonk Professor of Political Science and Environmental Politics at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Beginning in July 2019, Hahrie will begin serving as the inaugural Director of the SNF Agora Institute and Professor of Political Science at Johns Hopkins University. She specializes in the study of civic and political participation, collective action, organizing, and social change, particularly as it pertains to social policy, environmental issues, and democratic revitalization. She has published three books: How Organizations Develop Activists: Civic Associations and Leadership in the 21st Century, Groundbreakers: How Obama's 2.2 Million Volunteers Transformed Campaigning in America, and Moved to Action: Motivation, Participation, and Inequality in American Politics. Her award-winning work has been published in the American Political Science Review, American Sociological Review, American Journal of Sociology, and numerous other outlets.

David Yarnold
Since becoming Audubon's 10th president in September 2010, David has unified and built America’s most effective conservation network. His vision aligned Audubon’s conservation work along migratory flyways, the "superhighways in the sky" that millions of birds travel, across geographic and political boundaries. Birds lead Audubon to America’s most important regions, from the Colorado River Basin to the Everglades to Long Island Sound to the Great Lakes and the prairies of the Dakotas. Using cutting-edge science, Audubon protects these places and promotes bipartisan policy solutions in communities, statehouses, in Washington D.C.  and across the Western Hemisphere. With a membership that is 55% Democratic and 45% Republican and Independent, Audubon occupies a unique place on the political landscape: a place of common ground. More than one million people annually visit Audubon’s 41 nature centers nationally—the largest network of nature centers owned by any major conservation organization—all of which are incubators for a new, diverse generation of conservation leaders.

On David’s watch, Audubon has focused its 1.4 million members and 452 chapters on five overarching conservation strategies: climate, water, coasts, working lands and Bird Friendly Communities. As a result of the turnaround he has led, Audubon has reassumed its historic leadership role on state and national efforts to preserve wetlands, to address rising sea levels, to ensure water is used for conservation in America’s river systems and to ensure food, shelter and safe passage for birds where people live. He shares the joy and wonder that Audubon’s members find in birds, having become an avid birder, as well.

A Pulitzer Prize winner and eloquent advocate for birds and the environment, David is a regular contributor to publications from The New York Times to POLITICO to Forbes as well as to numerous regional publications. His belief that non-profits can almost always move more quickly has made him a spokesperson for change in the NGO world and made Audubon the subject of a Harvard Business School case study. Audubon’s investment in digital and social communications and marketing set it apart from its peers, including a national social media movement called “Conservation Has No Party.”

David excels at assembling high-caliber, cross-disciplinary leadership teams, developing efficient, innovative organizations and raising funds. He has grown Audubon’s revenue from $73M to $123M and reach to more than five million people, earning Audubon best-in-class, 4-star charity ratings. He’s known for his unconventional career arc. Starting as a photojournalist, he rose to executive editor during 27 years at The San Jose Mercury News. He moved to the environmental world in 2005 as executive director of the Environmental Defense Fund. He tripled its corporate partnership program, working with Walmart, the Carlyle Group and dozens of high-tech companies. He was EDF’s U.S.-based leader for its China program, which brought carbon trading to the most populous nation on earth. David has a track record as an influential civic leader with a steadfast commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion. He’s a marathoner, a father of two and his only remaining vice is golf.

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