NEW YORK – The National Audubon Society welcomed Erin Giese, data manager at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay’s Cofrin Center for Biodiversity, and Rod Brown, a founding partner of Cascadia Law Group PLLC, to its national board of directors. The two newest members bring expertise in biodiversity and environmental law as well as proven leadership within the Audubon chapter network.
“Audubon’s nationwide grassroots network is simultaneously vast and local everywhere, with chapters, members and advocates in every state. We have the distinct opportunity to protect the most vulnerable birds through science-based solutions and policy on local, regional and international scales,” said David Yarnold, CEO of the National Audubon Society. “The expertise of our newest board members and their intimate insight of our network will help Audubon mobilize an even stronger force on the ground to fight for climate solutions that will build a healthier environment birds depend on – that we all depend on.”
Erin Giese of northeastern Wisconsin is joining the national board as the regional director for the Mississippi Flyway North region. Since 2011, she has worked at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay’s Cofrin Center for Biodiversity on bird and wildlife-related projects throughout the Great Lakes region. She is currently president of the Northeastern Wisconsin Audubon Society and adviser to the Green Bay Audubon Student Conservation Chapter at UW-Green Bay, which was the first Audubon student chapter in the country. Erin is passionate about family, birds, nature, wildlife, conservation, and world travel. She is also striving to bring equity, diversity, and inclusion to the forefront of all aspects of her life.
Rod Brown is joining the national board as the regional director for the Pacific Flyway North region. He is a founding partner of Cascadia Law Group PLLC, a Seattle law firm that specializes in environmental law. He is also the principal author of Washington's Superfund law, the Model Toxics Control Act, and has worked for years to reform and improve the environmental regulatory system in the Pacific Northwest and in Washington, D.C. Rod serves on the board of Portland General Electric, which is Oregon’s largest utility and is one of the greenest utilities in the country. He also serves on several nonprofit boards including as chair of the Bullitt Foundation. He is a regional director from Seattle Audubon Society, a past president of the Seattle Audubon Society, and is a recent graduate of Seattle Audubon's Master Birder program. His family is also steeped in environmental work with a spouse who is an environmental scientist and a daughter who is a climate policy analyst.
With a grassroots network of more than 1.8 million members and 500 chapters, Audubon protects birds and the places they need with unparalleled reach nationwide.
As millions turned to birds for solace in 2020, Audubon also found hope in numerous climate policy wins across the country. Audubon Washington contributed to historic clean energy policies and a bill to help farmers and working lands capture carbon emissions. An Audubon-led coalition successfully advocated for the Arkansas General Assembly to approve a rule that makes solar energy more accessible to individuals and businesses in the state. In part to the efforts of Audubon South Carolina, the South Carolina legislature passed the Disaster Relief and Resilience Act to help mitigate many of the problems caused by sea level rise.
In 2020, Audubon also grew its flock by expanding the Audubon on Campus Program to a presence on more than 150 college and university campuses. Audubon on Campus hosted the inaugural virtual Youth Environmental Summit, in partnership with American Conservation Coalition Campus, as well as expanded engagement with historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) and minority-serving institutions (MSIs) through a new partnership with the Walton Family Foundation.
In January 2021, Audubon expanded its leadership team:
- Dr. Elizabeth Gray joined Audubon as Chief Conservation Officer and is the first woman to hold the title of President in the organization’s 115-year history.
- Jamaal Nelson is Audubon’s new Chief Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Officer—the first ED&I position on the Executive Team.
Learn more about Audubon’s work and the top wins for birds in 2020 here.
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 about how to help at www.audubon.org and follow us on Twitter and Instagram at @audubonsociety.
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