Audubon’s Chief Conservation Officer Appointed to North American Wetlands Conservation Council and Neotropical Migratory Bird Conservation Act Advisory Group

Marshall Johnson appointed by Interior Secretary Deb Haaland for a three-year term.
Photo: Courtesy of Marshall Johnson

WASHINGTON – The National Audubon Society is proud to announce the appointment of Chief Conservation Officer Marshall Johnson to the North American Wetlands Conservation Council (Council) and the Neotropical Migratory Bird Conservation Act (NMBCA) Advisory Group.  Marshall was appointed by U.S. Interior Secretary Deb Haaland for a three-year term effective through March 2026. 
“Marshall Johnson’s innovative conservation leadership and compelling voice for birds and the habitats they depend on for survival make him a valuable addition to the North American Wetlands Conservation Council and NMBCA Advisory Group. We look forward to seeing his lasting impact in these new roles at this critical moment for birds,” said Audubon CEO Elizabeth Gray.   

Marshall Johnson’s appointment marks the continuation of Audubon’s involvement with the North American Wetlands Conservation Council to help conserve wetlands for migratory birds and other wildlife. Since the program began under the North American Wetlands Conservation Act in 1989, it has provided more than $2 billion to benefit migratory birds and their habitats, and more than 6,600 partners have provided more than $4 billion in matching funds, to help protect, restore, or enhance more than 31 million acres of wetlands and associated uplands.  

Johnson will also serve on the Advisory Group that meets, as needed, to provide advice on implementing the Neotropical Migratory Bird Conservation Act (NMBCA) grant program.  As a matching grant program, the NMBCA catalyzes funding from a range of sources to support the conservation of neotropical migratory bird habitat as well as research, monitoring, outreach, and education. Since 2000, the U.S. has invested $80 million which has sparked an additional $310 million in matching funds from public-private partnerships. These funds have supported 658 projects in 36 Latin American and Caribbean countries, 40 U.S. states and territories, and provinces and territories across Canada. 

“The North American Wetlands Conservation Act and Neotropical Migratory Bird Conservation Act have significantly benefitted birds and people for decades, and I am honored by this appointment to help support these critical conservation priorities at a critical point for North America’s birds and associated habitats,” said Johnson. “Audubon is committed to the birds of the western hemisphere and ensuring their recovery, so I am eager to work with fellow council members to help advance the strategy and investments needed to conserve migratory birds throughout their ranges. We must, collectively, bend the curve of bird population declines by working together across the western hemisphere.” 

As Audubon's Chief Conservation Officer, Marshall Johnson leads strategic direction for hemispheric-wide conservation work to address the unprecedented climate change and biodiversity crises facing birds. Marshall first joined Audubon in 2009 as a climate field organizer for the D.C. policy team. He later served as Vice-President, Executive Director of Audubon Dakota. Through his leadership, the state program spearheaded the development and launch of the Northern Great Plains Grasslands Project, conserving more than 300,000 acres while partnering with more than 500 farmers, ranchers and communities across the Dakotas, including several NAWCA projects. He has also served as Vice President for Audubon’s Conservation Ranching Initiative – America’s largest regenerative, bird-friendly land certification – protecting North America’s fragile grasslands. Marshall is a graduate of the University of Minnesota and is based out of Fargo, North Dakota. 

Audubon’s Senior Director for Coastal Conservation Bethany Carl Kraft will serve on the council staff in support of Johnson and the Council’s work for this appointment. Bethany has over 20 years of experience in ecosystem restoration implementation and program management across a wide range of habitats and living resources. 

About Audubon   
The National Audubon Society protects birds and the places they need, today and tomorrow. Audubon works throughout the Americas using science, advocacy, education, and on-the-ground conservation. State programs, nature centers, chapters, and partners give Audubon an unparalleled wingspan that reaches millions of people each year to inform, inspire, and unite diverse communities in conservation action. A nonprofit conservation organization since 1905, Audubon believes in a world in which people and wildlife thrive. Learn more at and on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @audubonsociety. 

Media Contact:  
Megan Moriarty,