NEW YORK (January 27, 2022) – The National Audubon Society (“Audubon”) announced Marshall Johnson as Chief Conservation Officer and Justin Stokes as Deputy Chief Conservation Officer to lead conservation strategy of the 116-year-old organization. Allison Vogt has been named Chief of Staff, running the Office of the CEO, and managing Audubon’s next strategic planning process in partnership with staff and the Board of Directors.
“With his collaborative leadership and innovative approach to conservation, Marshall Johnson exemplifies the ethos of Audubon’s mission and is the perfect leader to elevate Audubon’s conservation strategy and vision that birds tell us about the biggest challenges in conservation and climate change across the hemisphere,” said Dr. Elizabeth Gray, CEO of Audubon. “Paired with Justin Stokes’ proven record of high-profile conservation wins and cross-organizational leadership, I am confident Audubon’s new executive conservation leaders will help us fulfill the promise to protect birds and the places they need – that we all need, today and tomorrow.”
Marshall Johnson, Chief Conservation Officer, will lead strategic direction for hemispheric-wide conservation work at Audubon to address the unprecedented climate change and biodiversity crises facing birds. Johnson joined Audubon 12 years ago, starting as a climate field organizer for the D.C. policy team. He most recently held the title of Interim Chief Conservation Officer at Audubon after serving as Vice President, Executive Director of Audubon Dakota. Through his leadership, the state program raised and leveraged more than $50M and spearheaded the development and launch of the Northern Great Plains Grasslands Project, conserving more than 600,000 acres and partnering with more than 300 farmers, ranchers and communities across the Dakotas. 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. He is a graduate of the University of Minnesota and is based out of Fargo, North Dakota.
“I am deeply honored to serve Audubon's mission and people at this critical moment for the future of birds. As Chief Conservation Officer, I am eager to work alongside staff, members and partners to position the growing Audubon movement to meet the hemispheric bird and climate crises head on, while also building a more equitable and diverse birding movement,” said Johnson. “Audubon has a vital role to play in partnership with farmers, ranchers, hunters, anglers, indigenous stewards, communities of all colors, people of faith, businesses and policymakers in securing the future for birds and the planet in this decisive decade.”
Justin Stokes, Deputy Chief Conservation Officer, will provide day-to-day management and direction for all Audubon conservation strategies, as well as support political affairs, policy and science teams. Stokes previously served as Interim Deputy Chief Conservation Officer at Audubon and Vice President, Executive Director of Audubon South Carolina. In South Carolina, his leadership led to notable conservation successes including the passage of comprehensive climate resiliency legislation and significant clean energy reforms, successful restoration of Crab Bank Seabird Sanctuary, and securing Audubon’s first National Park Service’s Underground Railroad Network to Freedom designation for Beidler Forest Sanctuary. Stokes joined Audubon in 2017 as its first Vice President for Political Affairs and later served as the inaugural Executive Director of the Audubon Action Fund, the 501 (c)(4) affiliate to Audubon. He is a graduate of Clemson University, and completed the Wilson Fellowship in Strategic Management for Environmental Leadership at Harvard Business School. He is based out of Charleston, South Carolina.
“We are living through a pivotal time in conservation, with more challenges facing birds and people every day. I am immensely grateful to have the opportunity to support Audubon’s conservation mission,” said Stokes. “I am thrilled to partner with our incredibly talented and dedicated Conservation team, our colleagues across Audubon, and our powerful network to drive impactful conservation solutions for birds and the places we all need to thrive.”
Strategy and Executive Leadership
“Throughout her 20-year career, Allison has led teams and organizations to translate their aspirations into impact through a focused portfolio of conservation programs. She inspires with clear vision and has a strong track record of building highly effective and engaged teams where dependability, inclusivity, and creativity are core values,” said Dr. Elizabeth Gray, CEO of Audubon. “Allison’s proven executive leadership and bird conservation experience offer an unmatched combination to help steer Audubon into the next phase of its history.”
Allison Vogt, Chief of Staff, will lead day-to-day management of the Office of the CEO and will oversee engagement with Audubon’s Board of Directors. As a member of the executive team, she will support the team’s ability to address organization-wide needs with an emphasis on transparency, accountability, and open channels of communications and will provide leadership in the development of Audubon’s next Strategic Plan. Prior to joining Audubon in July 2021, Vogt served as the Deputy Executive Director for The Nature Conservancy’s Maryland/D.C. state program. She also served as the Partnership Coordinator for the U.S. Committee of the North American Bird Conservation Initiative and the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies’ Bird Conservation program, as well as the first Coordinator of the East Gulf Coastal Plain Joint Venture. She holds an undergraduate degree in Biology from the University of Notre Dame and a master’s degree in Ecology and a Certificate of Non-Profit Management from the University of Georgia. She is based out of Washington, D.C.
“This position at Audubon is the ideal opportunity to put my experience and expertise to their best and highest use for birds, the places they need, and an organization that is essential for their future survival,” said Vogt. “With such an expansive network of staff, members and board members, I look forward to meaningfully engaging the full Audubon flock as the organization charts a course for even greater conservation impact in the years to come.”
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 www.audubon.org and on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @audubonsociety.
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