ABC Staff


George H. Fenwick



George has served as President and CEO since ABC’s founding in 1994. Prior to that, he worked in a variety of capacities during 15 years with The Nature Conservancy, including Director of Science, and Chair of the Last Great Places Campaign Steering Committee. He received a Ph.D. in Pathobiology from Johns Hopkins University.



Tel: VA Office - 540-253-5780 ext. 103



Bob Altman

Northern Pacific Conservation Officer


Bob has a degree in wildlife biology from Eastern Kentucky University with graduate course work at Oregon State University. He has been active in Partners in Flight since its inception, with several committee positions at state and regional levels, including his current position as Chairperson of the Oregon-Washington chapter. Before coming to ABC, Bob worked for seven years as an independent ornithologist conducting avian research and monitoring under the business name of Avifauna Northwest. He is author of the Olive-sided Flycatcher species account for Birds of North America, and lead author on a book chapter on wildlife-habitat relationships in western Oregon and Washington.



Tel: 541-745-5339


Vickie Atkins



Vickie comes to ABC with over 25 years of bookkeeping experience in various fields that include farming, horses and construction. A native of Virginia she grew up in Rappahannock and Fauquier counties. She enjoys spending quality time with family and friends as well as cooking, reading, and fishing. Vickie resides in the town of The Plains with her two children, Nicholas and Brooke. 



Tel: 540-253-5780 ext. 129


Jason Berry

International Landscape Conservation Officer


Jason earned his Master's degree in International Development and Conservation at George Washington University. He has lived and worked abroad where he founded Guatemala's first birdwatching tourism organization, and worked on Payment for Environmental Service projects in Nepal and Tibet. Prior to coming to ABC Jason worked at Conservation International in the Conservation Stewards program where he helped pilot over a dozen conservation agreements with local communities in ten countries across the tropical world. Jason's work allows him to look for bird conservation opportunities outside of protected areas – particularly in working landscapes. In their free time, Jason and his wife Andrea enjoy birding in Washington, DC and their second home in Guatemala. Jason has seen 233 bird species in Washington, DC, and 571 in Guatemala. If you've seen a species he's not seen in either of these areas – don't rub it in!



Tel: 540-253-5780 ext.127



Callie Bertsch

Wisconsin Young Forest Partnership Habitat Coordinator


Callie is a graduate of Michigan Technological University’s Masters International program where she served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Bulgaria. While serving as a community and organizational development volunteer she also earned a master’s in Forestry by researching the uses of non-timber forest products by three different people groups living in the Southwestern mountainous region of the country. Prior to earning her master’s, Callie was a certified naturalist and worked as an environmental education intern where a rousing birding competition amongst the interns ignited her love of all things birds. Prior to working with ABC, Callie worked on Farm Bill programs with the NRCS in the U.P. of Michigan as well as a climate change adaptation plan for the local conservation district. She is excited to continue working in her native land of Wisconsin on the Wisconsin Young Forest Initiative.



Tel: 715-362-5941 ext. 107


Isaac Betancourt

Migratory Birds Development Officer


Isaac grew up in the southern mountains of Puerto Rico, learning the calls and whistles of birds around him. His love of birds came at an early age and he became fond of birds such as the Common Ground Dove, the Puerto Rican Amazon Parrot, the Northern Mockingbird and the Puerto Rican Tody. Isaac comes to ABC with more than 20 years of police work where his main expertise was hostage negotiation. He was one of the first responders to respond to the Pentagon during 9-11. He is also an army veteran who served with the 82D Airborne Division and he is fluent in Spanish. In his younger days, he was a winner of Spanish Short story contests in Puerto Rico. He sails the Chesapeake Bay, plays the trumpet and rides his Triumph during his off time. Isaac is now excited to be a part of ABC’s dynamic work and dedication to birds and their conservation.



Tel: 540-253-5780 ext.


Peter Blank

Science Coordinator, East Gulf Coastal Plain Joint Venture


Pete has over 15 years of experience conducting research on bird populations. He has studied forest birds, waterfowl, and has conducted extensive research on grassland birds. He earned a B.A. from the Johns Hopkins University in Earth and Planetary Science. He went on to obtain a M.S. in Conservation Biology and Sustainable Development and a Ph.D. in Ecology from the University of Maryland. His doctoral research focused on the bird community response to Conservation Reserve Program habitat in Maryland. He spent a year as a postdoc with the U.S. Geological Survey, Patuxent Wildlife Research Center, where he collaborated with the office of the North American Breeding Bird Survey. He then did a second postdoc in an Ecosystem and Landscape Ecology Lab at the University of Wisconsin–Madison where he studied the potential impacts of grassland bioenergy production on bird communities. Pete was raised in Baltimore and spent summers at his family’s house on the Chesapeake Bay. He is an avid birder and enjoys a variety of sports including running, biking, tennis, squash, and kayaking.



Tel: 251-441-5857


Annie Bradfield

Membership Manager


Annie received her B.S. is psychology and history from Shenandoah University and is a native of Northern Virginia and the Shenandoah Valley. She joined ABC in 2013 after five years of development work with higher education and healthcare. Annie currently enjoys traveling, hiking, and camping.



Tel: 540-253-5780 ext.110


Taran Catania

Policy and Communications Associate


Taran comes to ABC with a background in shorebird research and conservation from working with the New Jersey Audubon Society and the New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife's Endangered and Nongame Species Program. She also has experience in endangered bird conservation with a community-based project in northern Tanzania, where she first fell in love with birds. Taran holds a Bachelor of Arts in government and environmental studies from Wesleyan University.



Tel: 202-888-7505



Jenna Chenoweth

Membership Coordinator


Jenna is a native of Colorado, and moved to Virginia very early in life but visited Colorado on a regular basis. Jenna is a Certified Master Dog Trainer, and a Certified Groomer. Prior to joining ABC Jenna worked for Navy Federal Credit Union in a number of different financial and administrative positions. She lives in Bealeton, Virginia with her husband Kevin, daughter McKenna, and their German Shepherd Greta.



Tel: VA Office - 540-253-5780 ext. 110



Aditi Desai

Senior Producer


Aditi is a digital storyteller skilled in producing, editing and shooting documentaries with a diverse background in counseling, legal advocacy and environmental conservation work. She has produced videos for clients such as The Pew Charitable Trusts, The Prince Charitable Trusts, PBS, the National Park Service, Blue Bear Films and Discovery Communications. Aditi holds an MFA in Film and Electronic Media from American University and a BA in Psychology from Smith College. In her spare time, she loves embarking on DIY projects, trying new street foods and being outdoors. She speaks Hindi and Gujarati, but also knows essential Spanish phrases such as ¿Dónde está el baño?



Tel: 202-888-6746


Peter Dieser

Minnesota Public Lands Coordinator


Peter received a M.S. in Natural Resources Science and Management from the University of Minnesota. His thesis research included trend analysis and database integration for the Cloquet Forestry Center Continuous Forest Inventory (1959-2000), which included producing and reporting wildlife habitat suitability indices using the Wildlife Habitat Indicator for Native Genera and Species (WHINGS) data query model. He comes to ABC from Eagle Bluff Environmental Learning Center where he worked as a Naturalist. He was also honored to be a part of the Hurricane Katrina Relief Effort and the Pompeii Archaeological Research Project (PARP:PS). When not working, Peter enjoys hiking, camping, and playing the saxophone.



Rhonda Essid

Finance Coordinator


Rhonda comes to ABC with many years’ experience as a budget analyst for defense contractors, school systems, and county agencies. She has government contracting experience as well as payroll and accounts payable. Part of this experience was gained while living and working for over three years in Doha, Qatar. A native Virginian, she is now slowly renovating an old farmhouse near the Blue Ridge Mountains.



Tel: VA Office - 540-253-5780 ext.125



Chris Farmer

Science Coordinator for Reintroduction of Hawaiian Birds


Chris joined ABC in 2010 but has worked on the recovery and reintroduction of Hawaiian birds since 2004. In addition to Hawaiian forest bird ecology and behavior, his research on the island of Hawai‘i has addressed the impacts of exotic predators and ungulates, influences of invasive arthropods on native food webs, and forest regeneration and growth. He received his B.S. in Zoology from the University of California, Davis and his Ph.D. in Ecology, Evolution and Marine Biology from the University of California, Santa Barbara. His dissertation focused upon host, habitat, and landscape factors affecting the distribution of Brown-headed Cowbirds in California. Prior to moving to Hawai‘i, he worked extensively on avian conservation in southern California, concentrating on riparian habitats.



Tel: 808-987-1779



Todd Fearer

Appalachian Mountain Joint Venture Coordinator


Todd received his B.S. in Wildlife and Fisheries Science with minors in Forest Science and International Agriculture/Community Development from Penn State. He received both his M.S. and Ph.D. in Wildlife Science from Virginia Tech, conducting research as part of the Appalachian Cooperative Grouse Research Project and evaluating population-habitat relationships of forest breeding birds at multiple spatial and temporal scales, respectively. His professional interests include landscape-level wildlife-habitat relationships, the conservation of oak forest ecosystems, landscape ecology, and GIS. His research has focused on integrating data from different sources (e.g., Breeding Bird Survey, USFS Forest Inventory & Analysis, National Landcover Dataset) to model forest bird-habitat relationships and examining landscape-level impacts of forest disturbances on bird communities. A secondary research focus has been modeling spatial patterns of acorn production relative to physiography and climatic factors, and developing and using Forest Inventory and Analysis data to estimate forest stand-level potential acorn production across the landscape.



Tel: 540-231-9519



Rita Fenwick

Vice President of Development


Rita received a B.A. from the University of Virginia where she was a Latin American Studies Major. From 1986 to 1992, Rita worked for the Virginia Chapter of The Nature Conservancy where she filled many roles including Director of Development and Communications.



Tel: VA Office -540-253-5780 ext. 105



Jane Fitzgerald

Central Hardwoods Joint Venture Coordinator


Jane received her Ph. D. in Zoology from the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville. Her course work and research emphases were on avian ecology and animal behavior. During the early 1990's, Jane was a lecturer at Southwest Missouri State University and the Mayor of Reeds Spring, Missouri. From 1995-2000, she served as Partners in Flight Midwest Regional Coordinator. Jane is the founder and Director of a small not-for-profit organization whose work includes monitoring bird populations in a rapidly urbanizing region of southwestern Missouri.



Tel: 314-225-7171


Jesús Franco

Rio Grande Joint Venture Assistant Coordinator


Jesús brings diverse experience to the partnership in priority species conservation, binational partnership development and project facilitation, and community conservation outreach.  Born and raised in Durango, he graduated from Antonio Narro Agricultural University in Saltillo before completing his MS in Range and Wildlife Management at Texas A&M University Kingsville.  Jesús has worked for Texas Parks and Wildlife Department for 13 years in diverse positions including Urban Wildlife Biologist, Borderlands Project Coordinator, and Wildlife Diversity Biologist.  He is well known in south Texas and in Mexico for his work with NGO and governmental partners.



Tel: 956-578-2207


Ken Gee

OPJV Conservation Delivery Specialist


Kenneth (Ken) Gee received his B.S. and M.S. degrees in Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences from Texas A&M University. Ken was employed with the Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation as a wildlife researcher for over 30 years and has worked on a variety of wildlife topics and species. His primary professional interests include white-tailed deer biology and management, rangeland and habitat management, use of prescribed fire, and youth and adult conservation education. Ken is a Certified Wildlife Biologist, member of The Wildlife Society, The Oklahoma Chapter of The Wildlife Society, The Texas Chapter of The Wildlife Society, The Southeast Section of The Wildlife Society, and The Society of Range Management. He has served as president of The Oklahoma Chapter of The Wildlife Society, chairman of The Deer Committee of the Southeast Section of The Wildlife Society, and on numerous committees of professional organizations.




Jim Giocomo

Oaks and Prairies Joint Venture Coordinator


Jim received a BS in Biology from Millersville University of Pennsylvania, an MS in Ecology from the Pennsylvania State University. His Master’s work focused on songbird productivity in forest settings, especially Ovenbirds and Wood Thrush in Pennsylvania. Jim earned a PhD in Natural Resources from the University of Tennessee where he monitored and modeled productivity of Henslow’s Sparrows, Grasshopper Sparrows, Field Sparrows, Bachman’s Sparrows, Dickcissels, and Eastern Meadowlarks at Fort Campbell Army Base working in the drop zones used for training by the US Army’s 101st Airborne Division. Jim has also worked for Hawk Mountain Sanctuary, Audubon Pennsylvania, and Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.



Tel: DC Office - 202-234-7181 ext. 216



Mary Gustafson

Rio Grande Joint Venture Coordinator :

Mary Gustafson has served as Rio Grande Joint Venture Coordinator since 2005. Prior to that, she worked in the Bird Banding Laboratory where her many duties included developing marking protocols, creating edits for data, and refining banding techniques. Mary graduated with an MS and BS from The Ohio State University with a long break between the degrees to allow her to work for a variety of conservation and research organizations. Mary has worked for Cape May and Long Point Bird Observatories, the Cleveland Museum of Natural History, and several other organizations. Mary is an avid birder and continues to lead pelagic trips, run BBS routes, compile the Lower Rio Grande Valley Rare Bird Alert, serve on the Texas Bird Records Committee, and edit eBird data from several Texas counties in her free time. When not birding she enjoys riding her horses and travel to do, well, more birding.


Tel: 956-432-4528



Larry Heggemann

Central Hardwoods Joint Venture - Delivery Coordinator


Larry received a BS in Wildlife Management from the University of Missouri , Columbia and comes to ABC with 30 years of experience working with the Missouri Department of Conservation. For 20 years he worked cooperatively with the Missouri Natural Resources Conservation Service, as a Private Land Conservationist and Area Biologist, to promote upland and wetland conservation efforts. He also worked as a Wildlife Management Biologist overseeing several state conservation areas. A lifelong resident of Missouri, he now resides in Cape Girardeau in the southeast portion of the state.



Tel: 573-576-3775


Bennett Hennessey

Brazil Conservation Program


Bennett grew up in Toronto, Canada, where he completed a customized zoology/environmental science degree at University of Toronto. He did field work in the Congo for a year, finishing the period with an enlightening two and a half months living with the Mbendjele rainforest pygmies. Bennett has lived in Bolivia for over 20 years and raised over 4 million dollars for bird conservation while directing Asociacíon Armonía. Bennett’s additional bird conservation experience includes: tour guiding, surveys, reserve design, trail creation, presentations, lodge creation, and writing—from a birdwatching guide to Bolivia and 19 scientific papers to more proposals than calculable. Bennett speaks (in order of fluency) English, Spanish, Portuguese, and French.



Skype: bennett_hennessey



Steve Holmer

Senior Policy Advisor

Director of the Bird Conservation Alliance


Steve has twenty years of experience working to conserve endangered wildlife and their habitats. He came to ABC from the Unified Forest Defense Campaign, a coalition of national organizations working on National Forest issues and previously served as Campaign Coordinator of American Lands Alliance working to conserve habitat for the Northern Spotted Owl and Marbled Murrelet. In addition to protecting threatened species on western public lands, Steve also directs the Bird Conservation Alliance, a network of over two hundred conservation groups, which works to build congressional support for bird conservation programs.



Tel: 202-888-7490


Michael Hutchins

Director, Bird Smart Wind Energy Campaign


Michael earned his Ph.D. in animal behavior with minors in ecology and statistics at the University of Washington in Seattle where he studied the behavioral ecology of an introduced population of Rocky Mountain goats in Olympic National Park. He has traveled to over 30 countries and six continents to pursue his passion for wildlife and nature conservation. Prior to coming to ABC, Michael served as Director/William Conway Endowed Chair, Department of Conservation and Science at the Association of Zoos and Aquariums for 15 years, and Executive Director/CEO at The Wildlife Society, the premier professional and scientific association representing wildlife professionals, for seven years. While at AZA and TWS, he was extensively involved with administrative-, policy- and media-related issues. He has authored over 220 scientific and popular articles and books on various topics in wildlife science, management and conservation, including many on birds.



Tel: 202-888-7485


Bob Johns

Director of Public Relations


Bob worked at the Interior Department for over 30 years in various communication capacities. Most recently, he was BLM Deputy Assistant Director for Communications where he oversaw the Divisions of Public Affairs, Congressional Affairs, Regulatory Affairs, Intergovernmental Affairs and Environmental Affairs. Prior to that time he served as Director of Public Affairs for BLM in Arizona and prior to that, Eastern Regional Public Affairs Director for USGS in Reston, Virginia. Bob directed the complete re-design of BLM's 500,000-page web presence, chaired the agency's Web oversight committee, served as senior adviser to the agency's law enforcement leadership team, and has prepared senior Federal managers for appearances on virtually every major news program including 60 Minutes, 20/20, Dateline, and CNN, ABC, CBS, NBC Networks. In 2001, Bob and a small group of BLM managers were recognized by President Bush for management excellence and upon leaving the Interior Department recently, he received one of the Department's highest awards – The Meritorious Service Award.



Tel: 202-888-7472


Cara Joos

Central Hardwoods Joint Venture Science Coordinator


Cara brings over 10 years of experience conducting research on migratory bird populations. She has worked in various ecosystems including Chihuahuan Desert shrublands, Eastern shrublands and forests, and west Mexican Dry tropical forest. She earned a B.S. in Biology from Northern Illinois University and then an M.S. in Wildlife Sciences from New Mexico State University. Her Ph.D. research at the University of Missouri - Columbia focused on territory settlement, habitat quality and demographics of a migratory shrubland breeding songbird, the Bell's Vireo. She has also been working with Bell's Vireos on their wintering grounds in Jalisco, Mexico since 2009. After receiving her doctorate she spent a year as a postdoc for the Missouri Ozark Forest Ecosystem Project where she began investigating responses of forest and shrubland breeding birds to stand level forest structure. She then moved on to a postdoc for the University of Massachusetts - Amherst where her research focused on shrubland breeding birds throughout the eastern US. Cara grew up in a small town in central Illinois and in her spare time she enjoys, travel, birding, hiking, running and watercolor painting.



Tel: 573-355-0838


Becky Keller

Appalachian Mountains Joint Venture Science Coordinator


Becky grew up on a small farm in the Blue Ridge Mountains of rural Virginia, and received a B.A. in Biology from Hollins College. She gained considerable avian field and research experience working for Point Reyes Bird Observatory, Manomet Center for Conservation Sciences, and various universities. She earned a M.S. from the University of Florida under Dr. Peter Frederick looking at the health, habitat use, and movement patterns of the federally Endangered Wood Stork. She then completed her Ph.D. at North Carolina State University under Dr. Ted Simons studying the effects of atmospheric pollution on high-elevation birds and snails in the Southern Appalachians. She loves mountains, international travel, birding, and learning new languages.



Tel: 540-231-7463



Anne Law

Director of Government Relations


Anne has broad experience in legislative affairs, law, and politics. Prior to joining ABC, Anne worked for Rapoza Associates, a public interest lobbying and government relations firm located in Washington, DC. At Rapoza, Anne secured federal appropriations for housing and community development organizations and worked to establish a micro-lending program at the USDA. As a legislative assistant for Audubon, Anne helped secure federal appropriations for Audubon nature centers and worked on the campaign to save the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge from drilling. On the legal front, Anne worked for a private firm where she focused on class action lawsuits and federal investigations. Anne has also worked on federal compliance issues for Hillary Clinton's Senate campaign in 2000 and as a field organizer for John Kerry's Presidential campaign in 2004. Anne has a Bachelor's degree in business administration from Cornell University and JD from The Columbus School of Law at Catholic University.



Tel: 202-888-7469



Dan Lebbin

Director for International Programs


Daniel received a B.A. in Biology and Environmental Science & Policy from Duke University, and a Ph.D. in Ecology & Evolutionary Biology from Cornell University. His dissertation research investigated habitat specialization among Amazonian birds in Peru, where he spent a year as a Fulbright Scholar. Daniel did work for WWF, TNC, the National Zoo, and participated in field research projects in Jamaica, Costa Rica, Ecuador, and Venezuela. A birder since childhood, Daniel also enjoys bird illustration and photography, and his images appear in a variety of publications. At ABC, Daniel has managed international projects and co-authored The American Bird Conservancy Guide to Bird Conservation.



Tel: VA Office - 540-253-5780 ext 123



Erin Lebbin

Assistant Director of Development


Erin grew up in Lexington, KY, and has earned her double B.A. in English and Art History from Cornell, and her M.A. in Art History from Johns Hopkins. Erin currently enjoys running, hiking, native plant gardening, and learning languages.



Tel: VA Office - 540-253-5780 ext 111



Casey Lott

Coastal and Waterways Program Coordinator


Casey has diverse ornithological experience working with passerines, seabirds, and raptors. He has researched landbird stopover ecology and the use of stable isotopes to track animal movements. He has participated in conservation programs monitoring raptor populations and decreasing bird collisions with towers on migration routes. He also directs a long-term raptor migration research and environmental education project in the Florida Keys for HawkWatch International.



Tel: 208-629-8705



Kirsten Luke

GIS Specialist - Atlantic Coast Joint Venture


Kirsten was raised in the Cayman Islands and has a B.Sc. in Applied Biology and an M.Sc. in Tropical Coastal Management from Universities in the United Kingdom. In 2000, she began work as a Research Officer with the Cayman Islands Department of Environment. All through her career she has been using GIS as a tool to meet the needs of her own work and to help support the work of others. In 2005, Kirsten moved to Gainesville, FL and became a GIS specialist and since then has worked with USGS and the USFWS (for both the Atlantic Coast and Appalachian Mountains Joint Venture, among various other projects) as a contractor. With ABC, Kirsten will continue to serve primarily as a GIS specialist for the Atlantic Coast Joint Venture, but her talents and expertise will be incorporated into numerous other projects.



Tel: (850) 769-0552 x253


Cheryl Mandich

Long-billed Curlew Conservation Specialist


Cheryl grew up in the farmlands of Michigan, moved to Wyoming in 1998, and now resides in North Dakota. She received a M.S. in Zoology from the University of Wyoming. Her graduate student research involved conducting a parasite survey and determining the seasonal habitat use of a population of greater sage-grouse. Cheryl has worked for the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) as a wildlife biologist on a landscape-level sage-grouse habitat restoration project. While with BLM, she implemented the Seeds of Success program in the local field office which involved collecting native seeds for use in local habitat improvement projects. She has worked for the Wyoming Game & Fish Department in seasonal habitat positions and in the private sector conducting pipeline reclamation using native vegetation. She has used GIS extensively in the work she has conducted. Prior to her career in natural resources, Cheryl started and ran a software consulting business for 10 years.



Tel: (701) 567-2661 ext. 116


Anne Mini

Lower Mississippi Valley JV Science Coordinator


Prior to coming to work for ABC, Anne was a Postdoctoral Scholar at Oregon State University where she led a project to refine estimates of energetic carrying capacity for Cackling Geese in the Willamette Valley and determine distribution of geese on the landscape to inform winter conservation planning. Previously, she worked with the USFWS through the Student Career Experience Program (SCEP) as a graduate and undergraduate student. At the Humboldt Bay National Wildlife Refuge, Anne coordinated the Aleutian Goose Working Group to address crop depredation concerns regarding spring staging Aleutian Cackling Geese, and additionally worked as a contract biologist to develop a scientific foundation for a regional agricultural depredation management plan. Through USFWS, Anne worked at a variety of other National Wildlife Refuges, including the Klamath Basin National Wildlife Refuge Complex where she became drawn to waterfowl and wetland management.


Anne has a Ph.D. from Oregon State University where she studied the comparative foraging ecology and habitat selection of wintering Dusky Canada Geese and Cackling Geese, a M.S. from Humboldt State University where she studied the energetics and foraging behavior of Aleutian Cackling Geese, and a B.S. from University of California, Davis. In her spare time, she enjoys backpacking, birding, fly fishing, and agility with her border collie Scruff.



Tel: 601-206-5459



Jack Morrison

Planned Giving Director and Major Donor Officer


Jack was the longtime owner and operator of the Blue Dog CDs and Records in Fredericksburg, VA. He received his B.A. in Government and Foreign Affairs from the University of Virginia in 1990. Prior to that he worked for many years with emotionally disturbed adolescents in Charlottesville. He is an avid, though amateur birder, competitive runner, and current President of the Fredericksburg Area Running Club.



Tel: VA Office - 540-253-5780 ext 109


Merrie Morrison

Vice President of Operations


Merrie served as Director of Administration for the Virginia Chapter of The Nature Conservancy from 1988 until 1995 when she joined ABC. She was the recipient of the 2003 Partners in Flight National Outreach Award.



Tel: VA Office - 540-253-5780 ext 102


Hannah Nevins

Seabird Program Director


Hannah has over 18 years of seabird research and conservation experience ranging from projects to clear islands of non-native rats on important seabird nesting islands in New Zealand, study penguin breeding biology in Antarctica, and assess impacts of coastal gill nets on Common Murres California, among many others. Hannah previously managed the seabird response program at the Marine Wildlife Veterinary Care and Research Center at the California Department of Fish and Wildlife in Santa Cruz where her focus was on quantifying mortality factors affecting seabirds in California, including oiling, fishery bycatch, plastic ingestion, harmful algal blooms and preparing for oil spill response. Hannah has been part of the University of CA- Davis Oiled Wildlife Care Network and has been a part of response in spills in CA and South Africa. During 2001-2014 she also led the citizen scientist BeachCOMBERS (Coastal Ocean Mammal and Bird Education and Research Surveys) at Moss Landing Marine Laboratories. She was founding board member of Oikonos Ecosystem Knowledge, and is active in the Pacific Seabird Group. Hannah received her B.A. in Biology from the University of California-Santa Cruz and her M.Sc. in Marine Science from Moss Landing Marine Laboratories/San Francisco State University. Hannah has met some of her best friends through birds. She loves fishing, hiking and camping with her family.



Tel: 808-333-4469


Clare Nielsen

Vice President of Communications


Clare grew up in the beautiful Shenandoah Valley of Virginia and graduated in 1989 from Virginia Tech with a degree in English (and a minor in business, just in case). She comes from a long line of bird lovers; her grandmother’s marked-up field guide is among her most prized possessions. With more than 20 years of marketing and communications experience, most recently with Conservation International, Clare aspires to make ABC better known as the most effective bird conservation group in the Americas. Outside of the office, she is mom to two daughters, heads up a habitat restoration effort at her neighborhood elementary school, and is a passionate native plant gardener—because of the birds, naturally!



Tel: 202-888-7478


Teo (Tami) Owen

Personnel and Program Assistant


Teo comes to ABC with 14 years of non-profit experience, working as a grant and administrative coordinator at the Public Welfare Foundation in Washington, DC. Teo previously worked in various fields, including lawn maintenance, indoor plant care and serving as office manager for an auto repair business. She lives with her partner, Pat, in Fredericksburg with their 2 cats and a lovely long-hair dachshund. In addition to being very involved with their local SPCA, Teo & Pat are avid country-western dancers, enjoy spending time in their yard, taking walks, and getting together with friends.



Tel: 540-253-5780 ext 121


Cynthia Palmer

Director, Pesticides Science and Regulation


Prior to joining ABC, Cynthia worked in the environmental arena—in the US and internationally—in the executive and legislative branches of government, in non-profit organizations, and in the news media. Her work has dealt with chemical contamination, pest control, agriculture and food safety issues, worker health and safety, air and water pollution, climate and energy policy, and tobacco policy. Cynthia received her AB, JD, and MPH from Harvard, concentrating in environmental and occupational health sciences and law. Cynthia joins our DC office's growing ranks of bicycle commuters.



Tel: 202-888-7475


Michael Parr

Chief Conservation Officer


Mike graduated from the University of East Anglia, U.K., in 1986. He then worked at BirdLife International before joining American Bird Conservancy in 1996. His first book, Parrots - A Guide to the Parrots of the World was published by Yale University Press in April 1998. He is a co-author of two further books: Important Bird Areas in the United States, and the American Bird Conservancy Guide to Bird Conservation, along with numerous articles and papers on birds and conservation. He is a member of the advisory committees of ProAves Colombia and the Mohammed bin Zayed Species Conservation Fund, and acts as Chair to the Alliance for Zero Extinction. He is a lifelong birder and has lead birding trips on four continents. He lives in Washington DC with his wife Tacha, and three sons, Wesley, James, and Charles.



Tel: 202-888-7486



David Pashley

Vice President of US Conservation Partnerships


David received a Ph.D. from the School of Forestry, Wildlife and Fisheries at Louisiana State University. His dissertation title was ‘A Distributional Analysis of the Warblers of the West Indies’. In addition to being an instructor at the University of Southwestern Louisiana and serving six years in the Science and Stewardship programs of The Nature Conservancy, Dr. Pashley has had a long association with Partners in Flight. Among his responsibilities for PIF have been Chair of the Southeast Working Group and National Coordinator.



Tel: VA Office - 540-253-5780 ext 106



Glenn Phillips

Bird Collisions and Development Officer


Glenn Phillips began his career in the environment as a second-grader, bringing his collection of reptiles and amphibians for programs in his school’s kindergarten classes. More recently, Glenn was executive director of the New York City Audubon Society, where he expanded the organization’s science and conservation efforts, including programs to understand the impacts of pollutants on waterbirds in the NY Harbor and to reduce the risks for birds of collisions with glass. Glenn is ABC’s Bird Collisions and Development Officer, and works out of New York City.



Tel: 646-661-1852



Gemma Radko

Communications and Media Manager


Gemma graduated from Allegheny College in 1985 with a degree in Art and Biology. She has over 20 years of graphic design experience and is also an avid birder. She is a member of both the Montgomery and Frederick chapters of the Maryland Ornithological Society and often leads field trips for members. Gemma is a licensed bird bander and runs a MAPS (Monitoring Avian Productivity and Survivorship) station during summers. She is also involved in the Maryland/DC Breeding Bird Atlas Project, which runs through 2006.



Tel: 202-888-7479



Kacy L. Ray

Gulf Conservation Program Manager


Kacy has a B.S. in Natural Resources with a specialization in Wildlife and Forestry from The Ohio State University, and a M.S. in Fisheries and Wildlife Sciences with a focus in shorebird ecology from Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University. Most recently, she worked as a consultant for Ducks Unlimited, Inc. and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on their jointly sponsored Integrated Waterbird Management and Monitoring pilot study in north central and coastal Atlantic Florida. As part of her graduate work, Kacy planned, coordinated, and executed research for the Department of Defense's “Defense Coastal/Estuarine Research Project” at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune. She also brings ten years of business-professional experience in the field of Information Technology to ABC.



Tel: 614-218-8838


Holly Robertson

International Development Officer


Holly first became interested in birdwatching and bird conservation through her work with the non-profit Rainforest Biodiversity Group, whose flagship project is an ecotourism initiative called the Costa Rican Bird Route. Serving as President she has helped the group fundraise and manage their portfolio of conservation projects, which includes land easement work and a small grant program. She holds a B.S. of Wildlife Ecology from the University of Maine and a M.Sc. in Conservation Biology and Sustainable Development from University of Wisconsin-Madison. The topic of her master’s thesis was sustainable bird tourism and its role in bird conservation, with a geographical focus of Dominican Republic and Jamaica. She collaborated closely with the non-profit BirdsCaribbean during her master's work to develop and launch the Caribbean Birding Trail (CBT), a project that seeks to promote and conserve the region's natural heritage. Successfully writing a grant, she went on to become the CBT's Project Manager after graduation and worked on its implementation before joining ABC. In her free time (which isn’t much because she's a sucker for donating her time to non-profit work) she enjoys rock climbing, ultimate frisbee, and the fact that she is now closer to her family that lives in western Maryland, where she's originally from.



Tel: VA Office - 540-253-5780 ext 126


David M. Roos

Director of Program Financial Management


David has a BA in Management and Public Administration at Florida Atlantic University (Mascot: Burrowing Owl). David joined ABC after spending 35 years in private industry working in all phases of financial management. In addition, David was an adjunct instructor at the University of Phoenix, teaching Government Contracting. Since participating in the first Earth Day in 1970, David has been active in a variety of environmental activities including being a nature and gardening newspaper columnist, giving garden lectures and volunteering with the Environmental Studies on the Piedmont and American Chestnut Foundation. Currently, David serves on the boards of the Virginia Native Plant Society-Piedmont Chapter and the Bull Run Mountain Conservancy. David and Lisa live in The Plains, Virginia where they raise chickens and Norfolk terriers.



Tel: VA Office - 540-253-5780 ext 122



Andrew Rothman

Migratory Bird Program Director


Andrew is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point and holds bachelor's degrees in Biology and Wildlife Management. Andrew was the Founder of the Rainforest Biodiversity Group, an organization which has been instrumental in the creation of conservation and sustainable development projects in northern Costa Rica. A former field biologist for Point Reyes Bird Observatory, he also has a background in environmental education. Andrew was the Executive Director of the Sarapiqui Conservation Learning Center in Chilamate, Costa Rica and spent three years as the Assistant Wildlife Educator and Naturalist at Horicon Marsh with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.



Tel: VA Office - 540-253-5780 ext 120



Libby Sander

Senior Writer | Editor


Libby comes to ABC after 13 years as a journalist. She began her newspaper career in Chicago, and over the years wrote news stories and award-winning features for a variety of leading publications, including The New York Times, the Washington Post, and The Chronicle of Higher Education. As a reporter she was happily a jack of all trades – covering beats in education, sports, law, and urban affairs – but is thrilled to be at ABC and focus her storytelling on bird conservation. A Maryland native, Libby grew up spotting waterfowl on the Eastern Shore, and now enjoys running, hiking, and birding in Washington’s beautiful Rock Creek Park. She holds a bachelor’s degree in history from Bryn Mawr College and a master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University.



Tel: 202-888-7484



Darin Schroeder

Vice President of Conservation Advocacy


Darin brings nearly 13 years of extensive Capitol Hill experience to ABC, having served as Wisconsin Offices Manager for U.S. Senator Russ Feingold (D-WI) from 1993 until 2000, and then joining the staff of U.S. Congressman Ron Kind (D-WI) as Press Secretary. Over the course of the next six years, Darin went on to become Representative Kind's Communications Director and Senior Policy Advisor. He played an instrumental role in expanding voluntary conservation programs in the 2002 Farm bill and worked closely with ABC staff to introduce legislation reauthorizing the Neotropical Migratory Bird Conservation Act. Darin brings strong experience in lobbying, coalition building, media, as well as general political savvy to ABC. Darin received a Bachelors of Arts degree from the University of Wisconsin in 1993.



Tel: 202-888-7476



Christine Sheppard

Bird Collisions Campaign Manager


Christine earned her BA and Ph.D. at Cornell University, as part of the short-lived Six Year Ph.D. program. Her thesis advisor was Dr. Tom Cade, who used captive propagation and falconry techniques to restore the Peregrine to the east coast of the US. Her interest in captive propagation as a tool to save endangered species led her to the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Bronx Zoo, where she started as curatorial intern and ended as department head of the Ornithology Department. She has chaired American Zoo Association taxon advisory groups for Coraciiformes, Galliformes and Gruiformes and has chaired the IUCN Hornbill Specialist Group. She is a lumper. She initiated the Green Team at WCS and the Green Practices Advisory Group for AZA. She became interested in the issue of bird collisions because it combines ‘green practices’ and wildlife conservation and this led her to ABC.



Tel: 646-661-1862


Kevin Sheppard

Golden-winged Warbler Private Lands Coordinator


Kevin Sheppard received his bachelor's degree in Forest Management from the University of Wisconsin, Stevens Point. He has nearly two decades of experience practicing forestry in northern Minnesota. In his life before becoming the Golden-winged Warbler Private Lands Coordinator with ABC, he operated his own consulting forestry business, working with both private landowners and public lands to create healthy and sustainable forests. He has experience working in both the USFS and county forestry departments, and has a passion for leaving healthy ecosystems for future generations. When he is not cruising timber, he spends his time hunting grouse and woodcock with his English Setters Hawk and Scout, and working on a lake home renovation project with his wife, Jennifer, and two sons, Michael and Corbin.



Tel: 218-244-3788

Grant Sizemore

Director of Invasive Species Programs


Originally from Ohio, Grant grew up fascinated by nature and enjoying the outdoors. He earned degrees in Zoology and Environmental Science from Miami University and an M.S. in Wildlife Ecology and Conservation from the University of Florida. Prior to joining ABC, Grant has worked toward wildlife conservation through policy, outreach, education, and over six years of wildlife research. Outside of work, Grant enjoys hiking, birding, fishing, and taking care of his (indoor) cat.



Tel: 202-888-7480


Benjamin Skolnik

Director of International Program Development


Benjamin received his BS from Wheaton College, MA and received his MS in the Sustainable Development and Conservation Biology Program at the University of Maryland. More recently, Benjamin worked as a Peace Corps volunteer in a high Andean village in Ancash, Peru, where he worked on community diagnostic methodology, implemented an improved cooking stove campaign, provided technical assistance to the community in watershed conservation activities, and conducted small business and leadership workshops. He has participated in many avian field projects, including several in remote regions of Ecuador. Benjamin has worked with a number of organizations, including as a GIS analyst for the US Fish and Wildlife Service Neotropical Migratory Bird Conservation Act grant program, Conservation International, Potomac Conservancy, and the New England Aquarium. He is fluent in Spanish and can speak basic Quechua.



Tel: 202-888-7471


Sara Spector-Keith

Administrative Assistant


Sara graduated from The George Washington University in Washington D.C. in 2006 with a B.S. in criminal justice. Prior to joining ABC she spent several years in the Carolinas working for Leiner Pharmaceuticals. Needing a change of pace the last 6 years have been spent in hospitality management. She enjoys spending time with friends and family, cooking, fishing, and traveling. A newlywed, she and her husband reside in Warren County, VA.



Tel: VA Office - 540-253-5780 ext 100


Craig Thompson

Great Lakes Regional Director


Craig D. Thompson was a 25 year veteran with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR). In his previous position as a District Land Program Supervisor, he managed the WDNR’s Endangered Resources, State Natural Areas, Land Management, Real Estate and Capital Development programs in western Wisconsin.  Craig also coordinated 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 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.



Tel: 608-765-1057


John Tschirky

International Program Officer


John is a conservation biologist with 25 years of work experience in natural history studies, biodiversity and natural resource conservation, protected areas design and management, and capacity building in both domestic and international settings. John has been extensively engaged in temperate and tropical settings while working in both terrestrial and marine environments. He has proven abilities in applying science, project management, fundraising, advocacy, and team work skills to effectively managing and conserving high-priority landscapes and seascapes. John's academic training is in the marine zoological sciences with a specialization in coral reef ecology and the population biology of marine invertebrates. He has been associated for over 20 years with the Smithsonian Institution's marine lab in Belize where he co-supervises a long-term coral reef habitat monitoring program. Prior to his arrival at ABC, John's work on public and private parks and protected has taken him from the Bahamas to Tierra del Fuego working for The Nature Conservancy, Conservation International and the Wildlife Conservation Society. He works with ABC's International Team on projects focused on the rare and Critically Endangered birds of the Caribbean, Mexico, and Central America.



Tel: 202-888-7491


Ryan Trachtenberg

Policy & Oceans & Islands Development Officer


A New Jersey native, Ryan graduated from The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey in 2010 with his B.S. in Biology. During the spring semester of his senior year Ryan interned for Earth Day Network, an environmental non-profit, located in DC. Upon graduating from Stockton, Ryan attended Vermont Law School where he received his Master of Environmental Law and Policy in 2011. He then went on to intern for the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection's Green Acres Program.



Tel: VA Office - 540-253-5780 ext 117



Stephanie von Blackwood

Web and Digital Communications Manager


Stephanie has a degree in Fashion Design from Marymount University in Arlington, Virginia. Aside from apparel design, she has a background in fine arts, graphic design, web design, and photography. A Northern Virginia native, she enjoys volunteering and participating with animal rescues and animal welfare events, as well as visiting local museums and nightlife.



Tel: 202-888-7487



Beth Wallace

Administration and Program Assistant


Beth received a Master of Science degree in Zoology from the University of Otago in New Zealand. Prior to joining ABC, Beth spent several years as a field ornithologist, working for the Missouri Department of Conservation and Bird Studies Canada.



Tel: VA Office - 540-253-5780 ext 107



George Wallace

Vice President of Oceans and Islands


George has been active in bird research and conservation for nearly 30 years. George served as leader of ABC's International Division during 2002-2009, before shifting over to lead a new division focused on the conservation of birds of oceanic islands, especially Hawai'i, and seabirds. Prior to joining ABC, George was Executive Director of the Rocky Mountain Bird Observatory, and a Nongame Wildlife Biologist and Florida’s state Bird Conservation Coordinator for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. George has also worked for Bird Studies Canada, The Nature Conservancy, Point Reyes Bird Observatory, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. George received his M.S. in Zoology from the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada for his research on plumage maturation and breeding behavior of the Ruby-crowned Kinglet. He received his Ph.D. in Biology at the University of Missouri where his dissertation research focused on the wintering ecology of Neotropical migrant and resident birds overwintering on Cayo Coco, Cuba. George has also worked on migration monitoring in Canada and California, research on seabird breeding ecology in California and Antarctica, and is an experienced bird bander.



Tel: VA Office - 540-253-5780 ext 101



David Wiedenfeld

Conservation Science Specialist


David received a Ph.D. from Florida State University, and a M.S. from Louisiana State University. His work has focused on bird population ecology and conservation biology. He has worked with CITES authorities on developing methods for surveying psittacid populations and evaluating the effects of the trade on the populations. He served for five years as Director of Research at the Sutton Avian Research Center, working primarily on prairie-chickens. Returning to the Neotropics, he served for more than three years as Head of the Department of Vertebrate Ecology at the Charles Darwin Research Station, in the Galapagos Islands. His work there was primarily with b ird populations, but took also included projects on invasive species, including predators, diseases, and parasites.



Tel: VA Office - 540-253-5780 ext 108



Emily Jo (EJ) Williams

Director of North American Birds and Habitats


Emily Jo Williams (EJ) contributes to wildlife conservation as the Director of North American Birds and Habitats for American Bird Conservancy where she is working to develop initiatives to stop the decline of migratory birds and build constituencies and capacity to enable conservation throughout the full life cycle of migratory birds. Prior to joining ABC, she served as the Assistant Regional Director for Migratory Birds of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in the Southeast and Mountain Prairie Regions and was responsible for programs including migratory bird Habitat Joint Ventures; permits; implementing national and international bird conservation plans including Partners in Flight and the North American Waterfowl Management Plan; harvest regulation; and outreach such as International Migratory Bird Day and Junior Duck Stamp contests. EJ’s career also includes serving as Executive Director of The Longleaf Alliance and 14 years with the Georgia Wildlife Resources Division, as a Regional Biologist and as state Partners in Flight Coordinator. EJ earned Bachelor’s and Master’s of Science degrees in Wildlife Biology from the University of Georgia, and is a Certified Wildlife Biologist and graduate of the National Conservation Leadership Institute. EJ is married to John Murphy, a Detective with the Madison Police Department, and they share their home and lives with Labrador retriever and hunting companion, Brac, German shepherd search and rescue dog, Panzer, and ever fun and entertaining Norwich terriers, Max and Izzy.



Tel: 706-818-1799



David Younkman

Western Regional Director


David has more than 30 years senior management experience working in conservation and environmental organizations. David worked for two decades at The Nature Conservancy, beginning as the Ohio State Director and leaving as Vice President for Resources of the Latin America and Caribbean Program. David also served as the Executive Director for American Oceans Campaign and the Western Regional Director of the National Wildlife Federation. He ran Strategic Consulting, a successful consulting practice, for five years, and taught graduate level coursework at UCSD. David is an avid sailor and has a Master's of Science in Landscape Architecture and environmental design from UW-Madison.



Tel: VA Office - 540-253-5780 ext 119



Dariusz Zdziebkowski

Director of Information Technology


Dariusz is an avid photographer, naturalist, and world traveler in addition to keeping up to date with the newest trends in the IT technology. Prior to joining ABC, he spent few years managing his own business Darweb Consulting, providing IT management services to various small businesses and prior to that managing all aspects of office infrastructure and IT applications for a pharmaceutical association.



Tel: 202-888-7513