Board of Directors Biographical Summaries



Warren F. Cooke, Chair, of Ridgewood, New Jersey, has been an avid birder for over 40 years. Mr. Cooke is a retired partner of the Global Finance Department of Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP. He joined the firm in 1980, where he was engaged primarily in domestic and international finance, with emphasis on international transactions.  From 1978 to 1987, Mr. Cooke was resident in the Firm’s Hong Kong office. Mr. Cooke is the author of a variety of articles on such topics as the U.S. regulation of non-U.S. banks, foreign exchange regulations, the Uniform Commercial Code, secured transactions, letter of credit transactions, and sovereign immunity.  Mr. Cooke is a member of the American Bar Association and the American Society for International Law. He is a graduate of Dartmouth College and Yale Law School. He also serves as Vice Chairman for The Valley Hospital, Ridgewood, NJ; a Trustee of The Nature Conservancy of New Jersey; and is a Trustee of the Parlance Chamber Concerts, Inc., of Ridgewood, NJ.  Mr. Cooke’s interests include nature photography, birding, and wildlife conservation.

George H. Fenwick, President, received a Ph.D. from the Department of Pathobiology at Johns Hopkins University, studying the effects of alien species on native avifauna. He founded American Bird Conservancy in early 1994, and became President upon its merger with the U.S. and Pan American Sections of the International Council for the Preservation of Birds later that year. He worked in a variety of capacities during 15 years with The Nature Conservancy including Vice President and Director of Ecosystem Conservation, Acting Director of Science, and Chair of the Steering Committee for the Last Great Places Campaign. Prior to that, he has worked for the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, Earthsatellite Corporation, and been an instructor at the University of Virginia.

William H. Leighty, Vice Chair, Until September of 2007 Bill served as Chief of Staff to Governors Kaine and Warner of Virginia. As Chief of Staff, Bill served as the Chief Operating Officer of the Commonwealth. In 2005, Governing Magazine named Virginia the “Best Managed State in the Nation” and in 2007, Governing Magazine named him one of the nine “Public Officials of the Year.” Prior to serving as Chief of Staff, Bill was the Director of the Virginia Retirement System, where he led the agency to three consecutive United States Senate Productivity Awards. In July of 2008, Bill completed a performance review of the United Nations Joint Staff Pension Fund, a $52 billion pension system. Recently, Bill also completed an engagement with the Scottish Executive; advising the government on how to implement a national performance management system. Bill joined state government after serving in the United States Marine Corps. Bill graduated from Mary Washington College in 1978, and holds an MBA from Virginia Commonwealth University. 

William F. Sheehan, Vice Chair, is the Chair of the Appellate Litigation Practice Group at Goodwin Procter LLP. He has briefed and argued several cases in the U.S. Supreme Court and many cases in the federal circuit courts, bankruptcy courts, state supreme and intermediate appellate courts, and before arbitration panels.  He has filed amicus curiae briefs in the U.S. Supreme Court on behalf of (among others) the American Bar Association, the Chamber of Commerce of the United States, the National Railway Labor Conference, General Electric Co., the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, the American Council of Life Insurers, the American Psychological Association, the Lawyers’ Committee For Civil Rights Under Law, and the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund. Mr. Sheehan also maintains a wide-ranging litigation and counseling practice, with considerable experience in complex financial litigation. He has recently tried business breach of contract cases in California and Maryland, represented a wind power company in arbitration in Texas, and represented a nationwide mortgage lender in class action consumer finance litigation. Mr. Sheehan was Deputy General Counsel (Legal Counsel) at the Department of Defense from 1995 to 1997. From 1975 to 1978, Mr. Sheehan was an Assistant to the Solicitor General of the United States. From 1971 to 1972, he clerked for the Honorable J. Edward Lumbard of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. Mr. Sheehan received his BA from Yale College in 1968, and his JD from the University of Pennsylvania Law School in 1971, where he was Editor-in-Chief of the Law Review.  He lives in on a farm in Barnesville, Maryland, with his wife, Jacquelyn, who trains horses.

V. Richard Eales, Treasurer and Vice Chair, V. Richard Eales, Treasurer, of Malvern, Pennsylvania, is currently Lead Director of Range Resources Corporation, an oil and gas exploration and production company. He is also an active investor in a family business. Mr. Eales was formerly Executive Vice President of Union Pacific Resources Group, Inc., and has a broad business background including work in oil and gas, software, investment banking, and light manufacturing companies. Mr. Eales has been an active birder since grade school and, in recent years, has traveled to many countries on birding trips. His interest in conservation was originally based on his interest in birds. He is a past board member and chair, and currently a trustee emeritus, of the Pennsylvania Chapter of The Nature Conservancy. Mr. Eales is also on the boards of The Cornell Lab of Ornithology and Willistown Conservation Trust.

Kenneth Berlin, of Potomac, Maryland, practiced environmental law with Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom. Mr. Berlin is the former Chief of the Wildlife Marine Resources Section of the U.S. Department of Justice, and served as Counsel and Legislative Director of Wildlife Programs for the National Audubon Society.  He has extensive international experience representing environmental groups during negotiations of the North American Free Trade Agreement, and World Trade Organization agreements. Mr. Berlin has served as Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the RARE Center for Tropical Conservation and is a member of the National Council of the World Wildlife Fund. Ken also previously served nine years on the Board of ABC including six as Chair.


Cinnamon Dornsife is currently serving as Senior Associate Director and Practitioner in Residence, International Development Program at the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) of Johns Hopkins University.

Professor Dornsife is a senior executive, negotiator and advocate with nearly thirty years experience in international banking, economic development and foreign policy. She currently serves on the Board of Directors for Abt Associates and the Advisory Council for the Asian Development Bank Institute. She also serves on the Boards of Advisors for Devex, the US-Indonesia Society, and the UN Association of the National Capital Area. Ms. Dornsife consults in the fields of development policy, aid effectiveness, strategic philanthropy, international financial policy and sustainable economic development. Ms. Dornsife has served as a Senior Advisor to several non-profits and social enterprises including First Voice International, Think Impact and Forest Trends.

In 2000 and 2001, Ms. Dornsife was the US Executive Director and Ambassador to the Asian Development Bank (ADB). Ms. Dornsife served as the U.S. Alternate Executive Director from 1994 until 1999.

Ms. Dornsife's prior experience also includes thirteen years with The Asia Foundation. Ms. Dornsife's career in international development also included work with the World Bank, the International Fund for Agriculture and Development, the US Department of Agriculture, the US-Asia Environmental Partnership, and the Pathfinder Fund.

Ms. Dornsife is an active birder, and is a life member of New Jersey Audubon. She and her husband, Charles Barber, the US State Department Forestry Chief, center their vacation travels on birding, hiking, biking, kayaking and mountain climbing.

Ms. Dornsife received a Masters Degree in International Relations from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), a Bachelors Degree in Chemistry and Mathematics from Emory University.


Jonathan Franzen, of New York, New York, and Santa Cruz, California, is a novelist, essayist, journalist, and translator. His recent books include The Kraus Project (2013), Farther Away (2012), and Freedom (2010). His novel The Corrections was the winner of the 2001 National Book Award for fiction. Mr. Franzen has written extensively about birds for The New Yorker Magazine and National Geographic, most recently on the subject of the killing of migratory birds in the Mediterranean. He received his BA from Swarthmore College.

David Harrison, is a radiologist in Salem, Oregon. He developed a passion for birds as a child growing up in the Midwest, and at age nine started a “nature center” and monthly newsletter with two friends. His love of birds and the natural world continued through college at Yale and medical school at the University of Virginia. After finishing his medical training at Massachusetts General Hospital, Dr. Harrison worked for ten years at a Harvard Medical School teaching hospital. Since being drawn west to Oregon in 2005, he has been actively engaged in efforts to conserve birds and their habitats at the local, state, and national levels. He is leading an effort to develop a community nature center near Salem to help connect children with nature. Dr. Harrison currently serves as President of the Salem Audubon Society and is on the board of the Oregon Chapter of The Nature Conservancy.   


Jennifer Haverkamp,is the Director of Environmental Defense Fund’s International Climate Program.  Binoculars and field guides in tow, she oversees EDF’s climate advocacy at international negotiations; EDF’s climate programs and partnerships in India, Vietnam, Brazil, Mexico, and Russia; and EDF's work around the globe to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from tropical deforestation. Before joining EDF, Jennifer spent nearly a decade as the Assistant U.S. Trade Representative for Environment and Natural Resources.  Her tenure at USTR was preceded by posts at the Environmental Protection Agency; the U.S. Department of Justice (receiving the Attorney General’s John Marshall award for her work on the 1990 amendments to the Clean Air Act); the Conservation Foundation; and a legal clerkship with the Honorable Betty B. Fletcher, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. She earned her J.D. at Yale Law School, an M.A. in Politics and Philosophy from Oxford University (as a Rhodes Scholar), and a B.A. in Biology from the College of Wooster (of which she fondly recalls researching the ecology of native prairie grasses and forbs, and studying field ornithology at Lake Itasca’s field station).  In addition to ABC’s board, Jennifer serves on the boards of the College of Wooster and the Verified Carbon Standard, and on USTR’s Trade and Environment Policy Advisory Committee.

Carolyn Hendricks has trained and worked for the past 25 years as a breast medical oncologist, most recently in private practice in Bethesda, MD. She currently serves on the Suburban Hospital Privacy Board, the American Society of Clinical Oncology's Quality of Practice Committee, and the Maryland Commission on Cancer. She is a former chair of the FDA's National Board of Mammography Quality Assurance and a former member of the Suburban Hospital Healthcare System Board. Carolyn was introduced to ABC by former board member Paul Hagen, and accompanied him on several field trips to Montauk. Her passion for hawks and owls dates back to 2005 when she participated in a raptor workshop in Missoula, MT. Since then Carolyn has been a supporter of the Avian Science Center at the University of Montana and the Owl Institute in Charlo, MT. She has participated in the Institute's longitudinal survey of short eared owls in Montana and barn owl box monitoring for Southern Maryland Audubon. She eventually hopes to do some volunteer field work on nesting snowy owls in Barrow, AK. Carolyn also supports and volunteers for the Western Pennsylvania Land Conservancy. She and her husband have just built a first-of-its-kind green revolution home on Conservancy land, and plan to shore up the small mammal population to support more raptors. Carolyn currently resides in Washington, DC with her very supportive husband (who is a terrific amateur raptor photographer) and has two 20-something children, a welder and a high school English teacher.

Nicholas Lapham owns and operates The Farm at Sunnyside, a producer of certified organic fruits and vegetables in Rappahannock County, Virginia. His previous positions include: senior fellow with the World Wildlife Fund in Washington, DC; president of African Parks Foundation of America, an organization supporting public/private partnerships to improve management of Africa’s protected areas; vice president for policy at Conservation International (CI) and director of CI’s Center for Conservation and Government; senior program officer for environment at the United Nations Foundation; senior advisor to the White House Climate Change Task Force; and special assistant to the Assistant Secretary of State for Oceans, Environment and Science. He is currently Board chair of the Krebser Fund for Rappahannock County Conservation.  Mr. Lapham holds a BA in history from Yale University.


Walter Matia was educated at Williams College in Massachusetts, where he earned degrees in Biology and Art Design. Upon graduation, he worked in the Exhibits Department of the Cleveland Museum of Natural History and later The Nature Conservancy. He started his art studio, Curlew Castings in 1984. His works have been exhibited across the country, and his sculptures have been selected for the prestigious Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum, “Birds in Art” Exhibition as well as for tours with various shows to museums both in the states and abroad. Selected collections and commissions include the National Museum of Wildlife Art, Jackson, Wyoming; Wichita Botanical Gardens; and Blair House, Guest House of the U.S. President, Washington, DC.


Regina Phelps is an internationally recognized expert in the field of emergency management and continuity planning. Since 1982, she has provided consultation and speaking services to clients in four continents. She is founder of Emergency Management & Safety Solutions, a consulting company specializing in emergency management, continuity and pandemic planning. Her areas of specialization include crisis management team development, exercise design, pandemic planning and crisis communications. She is the author of two professional textbooks in the area of exercise design. She has received numerous honors and awards for her professional and civic achievement. Ms. Phelps was the 1991 Chairman of the Board of the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce, the first woman, the youngest, and first small business owner to ever hold that seat. She is active in the birding community. She served on the Audubon California Board from 2002 – 2010 and currently sits on the International Crane Foundation board. She has been to over 60 countries bird watching (and working) and looks forward to more!

Jeff Rusinow has been an active member of the early-stage venture capital community in the Midwest since 2000, when he founded Milwaukee’s first angel network, Silicon Pastures. He earlier spent 22 years in retail management, holding senior executive positions at Macy’s, Gimbel’s, Hudson Bay Company and, most recently, Kohl’s Department Stores, where he served as an Executive Vice President. Jeff has been on the Board of Directors of a number of private and public companies, as well as non-profits, over the past several years. Jeff is currently on the board of the Wisconsin Humane Society and the Costa Rican-based Tirimbina Rainforest Fund, and has previously served as a board member for the Schlitz Audubon Nature Center in Milwaukee. Jeff became interested in birds in junior high school and got ‘hooked’ on birds during the summers when he attended the Burgundy Wildlife Camp in West Virginia. Through partial funding from his family foundation, Jeff has embarked on a project to produce and distribute a relatively inexpensive adhesive tape to reduce bird collisions into glass windows, with a particular emphasis on individual homes. Jeff has both a B.A. and M.A. from the University of Virginia. Jeff resides in Scottsdale, Arizona and Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Lawrence A. Selzer is president and CEO of The Conservation Fund, one of the nation’s top-ranked environmental nonprofits, based in Washington, DC. The Conservation Fund combines a passion for conservation with an entrepreneurial spirit to protect America’s favorite places, from city parks to historic battlefields to wilderness. Since 1985, the Fund has protected nearly 7 million acres. Prior to being named president and CEO in 2001, Selzer led the Fund’s efforts to integrate economic and environmental goals, launching the Fund’s training, leadership and climate programs, mitigation banking efforts and its Natural Capital Investment Fund. Selzer spent the first part of his professional career at the Manomet Center for Conservation Science, conducting research on marine mammal and seabird populations on the eastern outer continental shelf. Selzer serves on the boards of the American Bird Conservancy, The Outdoor Foundation, Sustainable Forestry Initiative and Wildlife Habitat Council, as well as the National Academies’ Transportation Research Board.

Craig D. Thompson is a 25 year veteran with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR). In his present position as a District Land Program Supervisor, he manages the WDNR’s Endangered Resources, State Natural Areas, Land Management, Real Estate and Capital Development programs in western Wisconsin.  Craig also coordinates the WDNR’s International Migratory Bird Conservation Program and the Wisconsin Bird Conservation Initiative (WBCI) International Programs and serves on the Southern Wings Leadership and Technical Committees.

 

Under the auspices of WBCI International, Craig has pioneered development of a conservation birding program that has raised more than $100,000 for habitat conservation efforts in Latin America. He was also instrumental in development of the Emmy-nominated Wisconsin Public Television special “Our Birds.” Despite more than 20 years of birding Central and South America, he has yet to see a Rufous-vented Ground-Cuckoo.