Press Room

The National Audubon Society Hires Trio of Proven Conservation Leaders

America’s largest bird conservation organization brings new leadership to state programs in California, New Mexico and Texas.

NEW YORK (January 9, 2018) — The National Audubon Society is pleased to announce the addition of three new executives to the national leadership team. Sarah Rose will join as executive director of Audubon California; Jonathan Hayes as executive director of Audubon New Mexico and Suzanne Langley as executive director of Audubon Texas. In addition to leading each of their respective state programs, each executive director will also be a vice president of the National Audubon Society. Hayes began his role on December 5 of last year, while Rose and Langley will begin on February 5 and 12, respectively.

“Audubon’s greatest strength is its people and we’re excited about continuing to build a deep bench of strong leaders to create the most effective conservation network in America,” said David Yarnold (@david_yarnold), Audubon’s president and CEO. “With leaders like Sarah, Jon and Suzanne joining our leadership team, we’re going to be stronger than ever as we protect birds and the places they need.”

All three leaders have extensive experience in management and conservation.

Sarah Rose, executive director of Audubon California

Rose comes to Audubon from the California League of Conservation Voters and CLCV Education Fund, where she currently serves as the chief executive officer. 

“With so many challenges facing California’s communities and natural treasures, this is an exciting time to join Audubon,” said Rose. “With its track record of accomplishments across policy, on-the-ground conservation and community engagement, Audubon California is positioned to help make a real difference when it matters most.”

An insightful strategic thinker with valuable relationships across the state’s political sphere, Rose is broadly credited with leading the California League of Conservation Voters as a formidable legislative force. 

Jonathan Hayes, executive director of Audubon New Mexico

Prior to joining Audubon, Hayes served with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for the Great Plains Landscape Conservation Cooperative where he was responsible for guiding multi-organizational development and implementation of applied research projects.

“I am extremely excited to be part of Audubon, an organization whose reputation and conservation outcomes in protecting birds, wildlife and the natural world is highly recognizable,” said Hayes. “It’s a huge honor to be leading an incredible team of skilled individuals who all share a passion for conservation innovation in New Mexico.”

Hayes has also served with Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and the Oaks and Prairies Joint Venture (OPJV), working at a programmatic level to implement regional conservation efforts aimed at restoring declining grassland bird populations. 

Suzanne Langley, executive director of Audubon Texas.

Langley comes to Audubon Texas after five years as executive director of Birmingham Audubon Society, a staffed chapter with programs both in Birmingham and also on the Alabama coast. As head of Audubon Texas, she will oversee the organization’s programs in urban conservation, coastal conservation and grasslands & prairie conservation as well as the oversight of three nature and education centers.

“The amazingly varied species and habitat of the state and inspirational conservation work by Audubon Texas is something I look forward to becoming a part of,” said Langley. “Prairie species first hooked me working with Audubon in Arkansas and Mississippi. Having the opportunity to continue grassland, coastal and urban conservation in Texas is exciting.”

In addition to more than a decade working in the Audubon network, Langley has extensive corporate and nonprofit management experience ranging from healthcare to higher education. 

Rose will report to David O’Neill, Audubon’s chief conservation officer, while Hayes and Langley will report to Brian Trusty, Audubon’s vice president of the Central Flyway.

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 how to help at and follow us on Twitter and Instagram at @audubonsociety.

Contact:, (212) 979-3100.


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