Conservation International Welcomes Daniela Raik and Aulani Wilhelm as new leads of Science and Oceans Divisions


​Arlington, V.A. USA — Conservation International (CI) announces today new leadership for its science and oceans teams. Dr. Daniela Raik will join CI as Senior Vice President and Managing Director for the Betty and Gordon Moore Center for Science and ‘Aulani Wilhelm will join as Senior Vice President for the Center for Oceans. 

“The work of the Betty and Gordon Moore Center for Science and the Oceans Center are foundational for Conservation International’s projects around the globe and bringing these world-class leaders to CI will strengthen our ability to understand and protect the nature that humans need to thrive,” said Dr. M. Sanjayan, Executive Vice President and Senior Scientist at Conservation International. “We are fortunate to welcome back Daniela and to bring Aulani onto our senior leadership team. I know their respective groups will thrive under their new leaders.” 

Dr. Daniela Raik will spearhead the scientific research in the Moore Center that is at the core of CI’s mission: to map the natural capital that humans need to survive, account for nature’s benefits to people and pioneer tools and technologies to monitor nature. 

 “I am thrilled to return to Conservation International in this new role focused on the science that underpins the organization’s mission,” said Raik. “I’ve long-admired the work of the Moore Center teams and their efforts to solve the deep challenges facing our planet and our humanity.”

Raik returns to CI after several months leading the Climate Change, Natural Resources and Biodiversity department at the International Resources Group. Previously, she worked at CI for ten years, most recently as Vice President of Field Program Management, guiding the work of CI’s field division in nearly 30 countries. In that capacity, Raik was instrumental in developing the Gaborone Declaration for Sustainability in Africa, an African-led initiative that provides a new model for sustainable development on the continent. 

Over the course of her career, Raik has spent two decades in natural resource management and sustainable development. She has a Ph.D. and M.S. in Natural Resources from Cornell University, and a B.A. in Biology from New York University.  

In her new role as Senior Vice President of CI’s Center for Oceans, Wilhelm will provide strategic direction, develop partnerships and help build on the team’s successes in marine conservation, including the Ocean Health Index, seascapes programs, blue carbon initiative and sustainable fisheries work. 

“As a partner of Conservation International for several years, I have long been drawn to its people, its philosophy, and its willingness to ask the hard questions and tackle difficult issues,” said Wilhelm. “I feel privileged to lead an incredible team of talented and committed professionals whose work is well known in our field for moving the needle of impact in protecting important marine ecosystems, measuring the value of what the oceans do for people and understanding our oceans’ power and limitations."
Wilhelm brings to CI more than 20 years of experience in natural resource management, primarily ocean conservation. She led the designation of what has become the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument and World Heritage site. Previously, she served as Director of Ocean Initiatives for NOAA’s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries and was a 2014-15 Social innovation Fellow at Stanford University. She founded Island Water, a social venture to provide clean water and reduce plastic pollution on islands, and Big Ocean, a global network of marine protected areas spanning 8 million km2 of ocean.
She is Chair of the IUCN-WCPA Large-Scale Marine Protected Area Task Force; and served as an advisor to UNESCO’s Marine World Heritage Programme. She holds an MS from Stanford University and a BA from the University of Southern California.


About Conservation International 

Since 1987, Conservation International (CI) has used an innovative blend of science, policy and partnerships to protect the nature that people rely on for food, fresh water and livelihoods. CI works with more than 1,000 partners in more than 30 countries around the world to ensure a healthy, more prosperous planet that supports the well-being of people. Learn more about CI and the "Nature Is Speaking" campaign, and follow CI's work on Instagram​, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.