NEW YORK–The National Audubon Society and the board of Audubon South Carolina have named Sharon Richardson Vice President and Executive Director of Audubon South Carolina. Richardson will lead and implement conservation goals and strategies in the state and will expand the geographic reach of Audubon South Carolina’s programs across the state and the region.
“Sharon is a natural choice for the role, having spent much of her past 15 year consulting career working directly to help support, build and lead programs for Audubon South Carolina and the Audubon network throughout the Atlantic Flyway,” said David J. O’Neill, Vice President, Conservation Strategies. “We are thrilled to have her.”
Audubon South Carolina, a state program of the National Audubon Society, dates to 1974 with the most historic location in the Charleston area, the Audubon Center and Sanctuary at Francis Beidler Forest, and Silver Bluff Audubon Center and Sanctuary located near Aiken. Over the years, the program has grown to protect 22,062 acres and provide environmental education programs to thousands of people each year, many of whom are from historically underserved, low-income neighborhoods. Audubon has designated 1.4 million acres as Important Bird Areas and has 6 active chapters in the state.
Richardson comes to Audubon South Carolina after running her own land protection consulting business where she helped land trusts and Audubon programs throughout the Atlantic Flyway. Her accomplishments include attracting new foundation funding and engaging partners to expand Beidler Forest and protect the surrounding watershed. Richardson was Vice Chairman of the Audubon Charleston Chapter and Executive Director of Lowcountry Open Land Trust where she worked with families to protect 10,000 acres of land in South Carolina. She has worked with other Land Trusts and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to protect critical habitat in St. Lawrence River Valley in New York and Maine.
“I am excited to return to the Lowcountry to lead Audubon South Carolina into its next chapter,” said Richardson. “Audubon is an incredible network of talented leaders and volunteers, and I am excited to help align our state with larger landscape scale conservation efforts.”
Richardson begins her new role effective September 1, 2015. She is a graduate of Middlebury College with a degree in Psychology, and a Masters of Public Administration with a focus on Natural Resources Planning from University of Vermont. While her base will initially be at Beidler Forest, she will spend a significant amount of time at Audubon’s other nature centers, chapters, sanctuaries and projects across the state.
The National Audubon Society saves birds and their habitats 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 at www.audubon.org and @audubonsociety.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org, 212-979-3100