The National Wildlife Federation has numerous experts who welcome the opportunity to share their knowledge and expertise through speaking engagements. If any of these individuals could make a contribution as a speaker at one of your upcoming meetings, conferences, or workshops, please contact Meshal DeSantis at DeSantisM@nwf.org.
President and Chief Executive Officer
O'Mara joined the National Wildlife Federation as President and CEO in 2014. Under O’Mara’s leadership, the National Wildlife Federation is focused on recovering America’s wildlife, improving management of and access to public lands, restoring America’s water bodies, advancing environmental education (including publishing Ranger Rick magazines), and connecting every American child with the great outdoors. Prior to the National Wildlife Federation, O’Mara led the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control as Cabinet Secretary from 2009 through 2014. In that position, Secretary O’Mara served as the state’s top natural resource official, and led the state’s efforts to conserve and restore wildlife and fishery habitat, improve air quality and public health, ensure access to clean water, expand outdoor recreation and environmental education opportunities, and enhance the state’s resilience to extreme weather and other climate impacts.
Vice President, Education and Training
Coyle has committed 35 years to U.S. river and watershed conservation and environmental education. He oversees the National Wildlife Federation’s Eco-Schools USA, Schoolyard Habitats®, Community Wildlife Habitat™, Certified Wildlife Habitat®, Trees for Wildlife™, Mayors' Monarch Pledge, EcoLeaders, green job training, and children and nature efforts. He also guides the organization’s education policy work for greener K-12 schools, environmental education, and applied science education.
His areas of expertise include wild rivers, watersheds, higher education sustainability, environmental literacy, and community-based conservation.
Vice President, Conservation Policy
With over 30 years working in the conservation community, Lyon is instrumental in developing and implementing strategies and activities that help the National Wildlife Federation achieve its national conservation policy goals. As an expert in conservation policy, Lyon represents the National Wildlife Federation’s interests with national policy makers, elected officials, the media, and other public arenas. In particular, Lyon has expertise in energy development, mining policy, climate/wildlife impact issues, and other related matters.
Vice President, Environmental Justice, Climate, and Community Revitalization
A renowned thought leader, international speaker, policy maker, community liaison, trainer, and facilitator, Dr. Mustafa Santiago Ali uses a holistic approach to revitalizing vulnerable communities, and has worked with more than 500 domestic and international communities to secure environmental, health, and economic justice. Throughout his career, Mustafa has conducted more than 1,000 presentations across the country, including speeches, training, and guest lectures at over 100 colleges and universities. He is a former instructor at West Virginia University and Stanford University.
Before joining the National Wildlife Federation, Mustafa was the senior vice president for the Hip Hop Caucus, a national non-profit and non-partisan organization that connects the hip-hop community to the civic process to build power and create positive change. In his role, he led the strategic direction, expansion, and operation of the Hip Hop Caucus’ portfolio on climate, environmental justice, and community revitalization. Prior to joining the Hip Hop Caucus, Mustafa worked for 24 years at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Vice President, International Wildlife Conservation and Corporate Strategies
Bramble and her team at the National Wildlife Federation specialize in reducing the impacts of agricultural expansion, which can foster deforestation and climate pollution. She convinces global brands and retail chains to help reduce threats to wildlife habitat by demanding “deforestation free” commodities (such as soy, palm oil, beef and leather). A long-time participant in international conservation issues, Barbara works with the United Nations on the Sustainable Bioenergy for All initiative, the global Climate Change agreement, and the REDD+ program, a mechanism for compensating countries for reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation. She also promotes sustainable production of biofuels and biomass, chairs the Roundtable on Sustainable Biomaterials, and serves on the board of the Forest Stewardship Council.
Media Spokesperson and Naturalist
As the National Wildlife Federation’s media spokesperson and naturalist, Mizejewski focuses on teaching the American public how to help wildlife and connect with nature in their own backyard. He was host and co-producer of the Animal Planet’s TV series Backyard Habitat, and has made appearances on gardening TV and radio shows including NBC’s Today Show and the Martha Stewart Show. Dave is author of Attracting Birds, Butterflies and Other Backyard Wildlife and the National Wildlife Federation’s Wildlife and Weather newsletter.
Chief Scientist and Associate Vice President
Stein is a scientific expert on biodiversity and wildlife conservation, and serves as the National Wildlife Federation’s chief scientist. The author of numerous publications on conservation biology, endangered species, and climate change, he is also a sought-after speaker and instructor. Since joining the National Wildlife Federation in 2008, Stein has spearheaded the organization’s work to develop new approaches for carrying out wildlife conservation in an era of climate change. Known as “climate-smart conservation,” these techniques have been widely adopted by wildlife and land managers in the United States and internationally. Stein has served as a scientific advisor to various government agencies, including the U.S. Department of Interior and Department of Defense, and is on the steering committee of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) Climate Change Specialist Group. Prior to joining the National Wildlife Federation, he helped establish the non-profit organization NatureServe, where he served as Chief Scientist, and he spent more than a decade as a senior scientist with The Nature Conservancy. A botanist by training, Stein received his bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Santa Cruz, and his Ph.D. from Washington University, St. Louis and the Missouri Botanical Garden.
Senior Manager, Public Lands Conservation & Sportsmen's Policy
Leahy supports the restoration of all wildlife populations through his work on policy related to wildlife, hunting, fishing, and public lands. Leahy’s priorities include transforming wildlife conservation for the 21st century through funding and improving the Endangered Species Act and other wildlife laws; representing the conservation interests of hunters and anglers in healthy, abundant wildlife populations and habitat; and ensuring national forests, wildlife refuges, and other national lands remain in public ownership and are well managed. Leahy’s work is informed by over two decades of work to conserve wildlife and natural resources, and an interest in all things outdoors. Leahy has been Conservation Director for the Izaak Walton League of America; Rockies and Plains Director and Natural Resources Counsel for Defenders of Wildlife; and Forest Campaign Director for National Audubon Society. Mike enjoys getting out to hunt, fish, hike, and have fun in the outdoors. Leahy has a law degree from Georgetown University and studied Natural Resources at Cornell University.
Associate Vice President, Public Lands
Stone-Manning leads the National Wildlife Federation’s national public lands team. She oversees the protection and management of America’s public lands to ensure they remain intact and that fish and wildlife populations survive and thrive.
Prior to joining the National Wildlife Federation, Stone-Manning was the chief of staff for Montana Gov. Steve Bullock and was previously his director of the Department of Environmental Quality. She has also served as natural resources adviser and state director for Sen. Jon Tester. From 1999 to 2007, she was the director of the Clark Fork Coalition in Missoula, Montana, where she spearheaded the successful effort to remove a dam at the confluence of the Clark Fork and Blackfoot rivers, as well as advocated successfully for a $120 million cleanup of the upper Clark Fork.
Stone-Manning has lived in Montana since 1988. She earned a bachelor’s degree in radio, television, and film from the University of Maryland and a master’s of science in environmental studies from the University of Montana. She started her career as an intern with the National Wildlife Federation in Washington, D.C., in 1987. She is a hunter and hiker and is married to the writer Richard Manning.
Director of Legal Advocacy
Jim Murphy is the Director of Legal Advocacy for the National Wildlife Federation where he coordinates legal advocacy across the Federation’s national programs with a focus on renewable energy and clean water. Jim also directs a partnership between the Federation and Vermont Law School’s Environmental Advocacy Clinic, where the Clinic represents NWF on high impact legal matters, offering the Federation a powerful partner in protecting wildlife, habitat and our natural resources while also training the next generation of conservation advocates. He has been with the National Wildlife Federation since 2003, having worked on environmental issues such as endangered species, and the National Environmental Policy Act. He has represented the National Wildlife Federation and other conservation groups in several precedent setting cases before the U.S. Supreme Court and Federal Circuit Courts. He has been extensively published in law reviews and other legal publications on issues such as water policy and law, transportation and smart growth, and energy production. Prior to joining the National Wildlife Federation in 2003, Murphy did work with the Conservation Law Foundation and was in private practice for four years. He has previously worked on Capitol Hill and has an LL. M., summa cum laude, from Vermont Law School, a J.D. from Boston College Law School, and B.A. from the University of Vermont.
Editorial Director and Editor-in-Chief, National Wildlife
Lisa Moore is the editorial director and editor-in-chief of National Wildlife® magazine, an award-winning publication that goes to more than 400,000 members of the National Wildlife Federation as a benefit of membership. Published six times a year, National Wildlife is the only national magazine devoted exclusively to covering wildlife and habitat conservation in North America as well as covering wildlife science, nature education, wildlife gardening, and more. Prior to coming to the National Wildlife Federation in 2014, Moore served as director of publishing and editor-in-chief at The Wildlife Society (2008-2014). From 1992 to 2006 she worked as a writer and editor at National Geographic magazine where she headed the staff writer’s department. She began her journalism career at U.S. News & World Report covering consumer news.
Moore's areas of expertise include all aspects of print publishing for a broad consumer audience, public speaking, writing, editing, and project management.
Regional Executive Director, Northeast Regional Center
As the Regional Executive Director for the National Wildlife Federation's Northeast Regional Center, Curtis is working with staff and state affiliates to combat climate change, jump-start a clean energy economy, safeguard wildlife and natural resources, and connect people with nature. He works with the region's affiliates, other organizations, and government officials to advance key policy priorities such as national clean energy/climate legislation, getting Northeast states to work together to safeguarding wildlife from global warming, and winning funding for key conservation projects. Some of those projects include expanding wildlife corridors and habitat, and supporting improved planning and research for natural resource protection.
Director, Water Resources and Coastal Policy
Ritter leads the development and execution of the National Wildlife Federation’s national water resources and coastal policy priorities. She oversees campaigns to protect clean water and wetlands, restore America’s iconic coastal ecosystems, and increase the resilience of communities and wildlife in the face of climate change and natural disaster events. She also works to coordinate and steer the Federation’s federal advocacy work to restore the Gulf of Mexico region—from the Everglades in South Florida, to the Mississippi River Delta, to Texas estuaries.
Ritter came to the National Wildlife Federation from the U.S. Senate Commerce Committee, where she covered the oceans and atmosphere portfolio under the leadership of Senators Rockefeller and Nelson. She has also worked for a number of national non-profits on federal and state policy issues ranging from fisheries management to water resources to coastal community resilience. She holds a Master of Environmental Management degree from Duke University’s Nicholas School, and a B.S. in Zoology from North Carolina State University. Ritter enjoys the amazing food, art, and culture in her home of Washington, D.C, but also loves to escape the city to hike and camp in the many treasured natural places around our country.
Director, Climate and Energy Policy
Heyck-Williams leads the National Wildlife Federation’s climate and energy policy program, directing and representing strategic priorities at the federal level as they relate to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, advancing wildlife-responsible renewable energy, and boosting carbon removal strategies.
She joined the National Wildlife Federation in 2015, having worked for nearly eight years performing government relations for The Pew Charitable Trusts on projects pertaining to clean energy, agricultural use of antibiotics, and other environmental and public health issues. Heyck-Williams also served as a deputy global warming campaign director for the National Environmental Trust, a research fellow at the Pew Center on Global Climate Change, and a professional staff member focusing on climate change and air quality issues for former Chairman Jim Jeffords (I-VT) on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee.
Heyck-Williams received a Master of Environmental Management degree in 2000 from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, and a B.A. in international studies in 1995 from Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas. Heyck-Williams lives with her family and their corgi, Frodo, in Arlington, Virginia, and loves to get outside whenever possible to soak up the sunshine and go on a good, long walk.
Vice President of Equity and Justice
Coleman leads the effort to fully operationalize equitable policies and practices and supports the organization to actively challenge systemic racism. She drives culture change by reframing how the organization thinks about power, while also encouraging others to develop their own expertise on equity and justice in their work.
Coleman is an expert in large-scale ecosystem restoration and coalition-building and was previously the Director of the Choose Clean Water Coalition, a 230-member advocacy organization focused on protecting the Chesapeake Bay watershed. Chanté is a member of the Green Leadership Trust, was named a “rising star” by Green 2.0, is a 2017 Environmental Leadership Program Fellow and a 2020 Better Selves Fellow. She frequently appears as a speaker, trainer, and facilitator at conferences across the country.
Senior Director, Garden for Wildlife™
Phillips provides strategic and operational oversight of the National Wildlife Federation’s Garden for Wildlife™ movement of 5 to 7 million people creating habitat where they live, work, play, learn, and worship. Garden for Wildlife encompasses: Certified Wildlife Habitats®, Community Wildlife Habitats®, Schoolyard Habitats, Butterfly Heroes™, Mayors' Monarch Pledge™, and Sacred Grounds™. The Garden for Wildlife network now includes half of the National Wildlife Federation’s 52 state affiliate organizations and conservation education staff across seven regional offices.
Phillips leads organization-wide workgroups for pollinators, monarchs, and other indicator species. She initiated the National Wildlife Federation’s collaboration with the United States Fish and Wildlife Service to “Save the Monarch,” and then with the White House Office of Science, Technology and Policy regarding its Pollinator Health Action Plan. As a co-founder of the National Pollinator Garden Network and Million Pollinator Garden Challenge, she facilitates the National Wildlife Federation’s engagement of more than 50 organizations across conservation, garden trade, and voluntary civic sectors, which has resulted in more than 1,042,000 registered pollinator gardens.
Prior to joining the National Wildlife Federation in 2014, Phillips provided organizational development consultation to more than 40 national and local nonprofits as principal of MDP Strategies for two decades. In 2009, Phillips also founded and operated The Abundant Backyard™, where she provided conservation landscaping consultation to individuals, schools, and community groups. Phillips is a Maryland Master Naturalist, and has maintained a Certified Wildlife Habitat® since 2009 with her husband and two sons. She also enjoys walking and hiking to explore the natural history and heritage of the Mid-Atlantic.
Director, Agriculture Policy
Glaser leads the Federation’s work on agriculture policy efforts such as the Farm Bill to protect and enhance wildlife habitat on working landscapes and to ensure funding for agriculture conservation programs. She represents the National Wildlife Federation in multiple coalitions and serves on a federal advisory committee on Biomass Research and Development. In addition, she helps organize the biennial America’s Grasslands Conference.
Glaser joined the National Wildlife Federation in 2010. She holds dual master’s degrees from the University of Michigan School of Natural Resources and School of Public Health. She previously worked for Beyond Pesticides, Michigan League of Conservation Voters, the Ecology Center, and Food and Water Watch. She hails from Baltimore, Maryland, and completed her undergraduate degree at Oberlin College in Biology and Environmental Studies. In her free time, she enjoys gardening, fostering rescue animals, and spending time outdoors.
Associate Vice President, Environmental Justice and Climate Justice
Lightfoot leads the National Wildlife Federation’s efforts on conservation and wildlife issues that impact frontline communities, from access to clean and affordable water to urban impacts of climate change to the transition of post-industrial urban centers. Her work includes connecting the National Wildlife Federation’s existing work in key urban communities around the nation to national social justice and environmental justice organizations, fostering national alliances and partnerships, and expanding the National Wildlife Federation’s relationships with urban elected leaders at the national level.
Lightfoot joined the National Wildlife Federation in 2009. She is an Air Force veteran who served as a deputy chief of staff in the Michigan House of Representatives and state director for voter empowerment for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). She worked with the NAACP for 20 years. She is a member of the International Joint Commission Water Quality Board. Since 2008, she has been a board member and trainer for the Veterans Campaign in Washington, D.C., where she trains military veterans how to run for public office. She was elected as trustee to the Ann Arbor School Board and has served since 2009. Lightfoot was also appointed by the Obama administration to the EPA’s Great Lakes Advisory Board from 2013 to 2016. She lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan, where she lives out her passions through her work.
Director, Individual Philanthropy
Brian Dulski is the Director for Individual Philanthropy, partnering with the Federation’s most dedicated supporters to match their philanthropic passions with organizational priorities. Brian started with the Federation in 2008 and spends much of his time on-the-road visiting with Federation donors while working to recruit new supporters to the cause.
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More than one-third of U.S. fish and wildlife species are at risk of extinction in the coming decades. We're on the ground in seven regions across the country, collaborating with 52 state and territory affiliates to reverse the crisis and ensure wildlife thrive.