Elizabeth Gray

Chief Executive Officer and Ex Officio Board Director

Dr. Elizabeth Gray serves as Audubon’s Chief Executive Officer. In this role Elizabeth leads Audubon towards its vision of a future where birds thrive. Elizabeth is a champion of science-based conservation and renowned expert in the field of global conservation and climate change. Elizabeth joined Audubon in March 2021 as President and Chief Conservation Officer; she was named Chief Executive Officer later that same year. She is the first woman since Audubon’s founding in 1905 to hold the role. She leads more than 700 staff working together across the Americas to alter the course of climate change and habitat loss. Since her arrival, she has led the completion of a landmark $826 million campaign, the release of the groundbreaking Migratory Bird Explorer, and the organization’s unifying Flight Plan strategy which underscores Audubon’s commitment to a hemispheric approach to conservation. Under Elizabeth’s leadership, Audubon has elevated equity, diversity, inclusion, and belonging (EDIB) as a driver of the organization’s work across the Americas, codified in a set of EDIB Conservation Principles. 

Prior to joining Audubon, she served as the Global Managing Director of The Nature Conservancy’s (TNC) Climate Change program. Trained as an ornithologist, she has spent 30+ years as a dedicated conservationist, spending considerable time in the field nationally and abroad. Elizabeth has been a leader on equity issues, from founding TNC’s first urban conservation program in Washington, D.C., to empowering the next generation of conservation leaders through a young professional’s network and youth advocacy program, to serving as one of five members of TNC’s Global Gender Equity Council. She holds a PhD in ecology from the University of Washington and an AB with highest honors in psychology from Harvard University. 

Articles by Elizabeth Gray

On Our Flight Path

December 05, 2023 — How we are setting ourselves up for even greater success in 2024.

To Protect Our Planet, COP Needs to Recognize the Intersection of Climate Impacts and Biodiversity Loss

December 04, 2023 — The climate and biodiversity crises cannot be addressed separately.

We Go Where Birds Go

October 03, 2023 — Colombia is a major biodiversity hotspot in the Americas, and the successful work we do there can serve as a model for effective conservation across the Western Hemisphere.

Our Next Five Years of Climate Action

July 11, 2023 — Audubon is ready for swift and bold action on renewables and natural carbon storage at this critical time for the planet.

A Roadmap for the Future

March 31, 2023 — Our bold strategic plan will achieve new levels of impact for birds, people, and the planet.

Open Letter from the CEO on Audubon’s Name

March 16, 2023 — Hear directly from Dr. Elizabeth Gray on why Audubon is keeping its name.

How a Century-Old Winter Tradition Could Help Protect People and Birds for Another Hundred Years

December 23, 2022 — The Audubon Christmas Bird Count has generated more than 120 years’ worth of data showing how bird populations change over time.

Reflecting on a Year of Success

December 16, 2022 — Audubon’s work in science, policy, advocacy, and conservation has helped create lasting change for birds and has set us up for greater impact in 2023.
Elizabeth Gray bands a female Redwinged Blackbird during her graduate field studies.

I'm Proud To Be Part of Your Flock

November 03, 2022 — An introduction to Elizabeth Gray, the first woman to hold the title president or CEO at Audubon.
Three students sit on the floor as they paint a large mural depicting multiple birds.

Audubon Is Powered by People

September 21, 2022 — Our chapters, our members—you—are what make Audubon successful, and our collective power can accomplish great things for everyone.