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National Leaders in Philanthropy, Wildlife Ecology and Natural Resources Policy Join Audubon Board

Conservation nonprofit adds Packard Foundation executive, Clemson University professor and former deputy secretary of the Interior to board of directors.

NEW YORK — The National Audubon Society is announcing the addition of three members to its national board of directors. Former Deputy Secretary of the Interior Mike Connor, David and Lucile Packard Foundation officer Susan Packard Orr and Clemson University Professor J. Drew Lanham were voted in at the conservation organization’s recent board meeting in Seattle.

“Birds are facing massive threats today, between climate change, habitat loss and attempts to undermine landmark conservation policies. But now that we’ve added such incredible leadership to our national board of directors, Audubon couldn’t be better positioned to protect birds and the places they need,” said David Yarnold (@david_yarnold), Audubon’s president and CEO.

Susan Packard Orr is the chairman and co-founder of Arreva, LLC, a company that has been providing fundraising and volunteer-management software to the nonprofit sector for over 30 years. She is the past chairman and a current member of the board of the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, and serves on the boards of the Lucile Packard Foundation for Children’s Health and the Packard Humanities Institute. Her past board service includes the Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital, the Monterey Aquarium, and Stanford University. Susan started birding at the Bosque del Apache when she and her family lived in New Mexico 40 years ago, and she is currently chairing the Global Advisory Group for BirdLife International. 

Dr. Drew Lanham is a professor of wildlife at Clemson University, where he holds an endowed chair as an Alumni Distinguished Professor and was named an Alumni Master Teacher in 2012. His research focuses on songbird ecology, as well as the African-American role in natural-resources conservation. A South Carolina native, Drew is active on a number of conservation boards, including the South Carolina Wildlife Federation, Audubon South Carolina, the Aldo Leopold Foundation, BirdNote, and the American Birding Association, and he is a member of the advisory board for the North American Association of Environmental Education. 

Mike Connor is a partner in the law firm of Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr, LLP, where he practices in the areas of energy, environmental, natural resources, and Native American law. He served in the Obama administration as the Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of the Interior from 2014 to 2017, where he was the second-highest ranking official, with responsibilities as the Chief Operating Officer of an agency with more than 70,000 employees and an annual budget of approximately $13 billion. From 2009 to 2014 he served as the Commissioner of the Bureau of Reclamation.

About Audubon

With total revenues in 2016 of $102.6 million (25% increase since 2010), Audubon is one of the nation’s largest conservation organizations, comprising 23 state offices, 41 nature centers and 23 wildlife sanctuaries and representing 463 local chapters. Audubon—which focuses on the protection of birds and the places they need throughout the Americas—has been transformed in recent years, according to Crain’s New York Business, through cutting edge technologies, a sharpened conservation focus and operational overhaul that has increased revenue and decreased overhead expenses.

As written in The Chronicle of PhilanthropyInside Philanthropy and GreenBiz, that strategic and operational transformation has attracted new funders and broadened the organization’s reach to younger and more diverse audiences as Audubon expands its international work and achieves conservation victories. For the first time in nearly two decades, Audubon has also earned Charity Navigator's highest ranking of four stars, twice in a row.

Audubon’s main Facebook page has more than 1.2 million followers and reaches approximately 4.1 million people each week as the organization’s supporters share and interact with Audubon’s posts. And the organization’s 2014 birds and climate change campaign, which earned more than two billion media impressions, recently won a Diamond SABRE award from public relations industry leaders.

To learn more about Audubon and its new strategic direction, please visit here.

The National Audubon Society protects birds and the places they need, today and tomorrow, throughout the Americas using science, advocacy, education and on-the-ground conservation. Audubon's state programs, nature centers, chapters and partners have an unparalleled wingspan that reaches millions of people each year to inform, inspire and unite diverse communities in conservation action. Since 1905, Audubon's vision has been a world in which people and wildlife thrive. Audubon is a nonprofit conservation organization. Learn more and how to help and follow us on Twitter and Instagram at @audubonsociety.

Contact:, 212-979-3100.


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