Conservation International Welcomes Visionary Scientist + Communicator M. Sanjayan to its Senior Leadership


Arlington, Virginia, U.S. - Conservation International (CI) has signed Dr. M. Sanjayan, a high-profile, global conservation scientist, television presenter and thought leader to its senior leadership team, naming him Executive Vice President overseeing the development and communications strategy and divisions. He will also serve as a senior scientist for the organization and oversee a major fundraising campaign the organization is preparing to launch. Effective February 3rd, the move further strengthens the reach and influence of the global nonprofit, which works in more than 30 countries around the globe to ensure the well-being of people through the care and protection of nature.

I have long admired Conservation International for its ability to work in some of the world's most amazing places and for being bold enough to take on the biggest challenge of our time: how to live on our planet without exhausting the natural world that humans and millions of species need to thrive, said Sanjayan. We live in an amazing moment in human history. We have the knowledge to understand what's happening to our planet and just enough time to do something about it.

Sanjayan will report directly to Conservation International Chief Executive and Chairman Peter Seligmann who co-founded the organization 27 years ago this week. Today, CI has a $140 million annual budget, more than 1,000 partners and 800+ employees, two Heads of State on its Board of Directors, and a four-star Charity Navigator rating. CI has promising plans to broaden its reach and community in the coming year and Sanjayan is a key part of these plans.

Sanjayan is one of those rare visionaries who blends a sharp scientific mind with clear and convincing communication about the direct connection between nature's well-being and our own. When he talks, people listen, said Seligmann. As Conservation International prepares to embark on a campaign that will aim to essentially reshape the course of human and economic development in the 21st century integrating nature's value in local, regional and global decision making we are grateful to gain Sanjayan's unique passion, experience and world view.

Sanjayan joins Conservation International from The Nature Conservancy where he spent 16 years specializing in development and conservation strategies. He focused on Africa, wildlife ecology and media outreach as their lead scientist and messenger. He holds a masters degree from University of Oregon and a doctorate from the University of California, Santa Cruz. His scientific work has been published in journals including Science, Nature and Conservation Biology. Raised in Sri Lanka and Sierra Leone, Sanjayan's unique background and expertise have also attracted mainstream media coverage in Vanity Fair, Men's Journal, National Geographic Adventure, Afar, Outside and The New York Times. He frequently contributes to CBS News science and environment coverage and has additionally hosted documentaries for BBC and Discovery. 

This spring, Sanjayan will serve as science correspondent for Showtime's Years of Living Dangerously docu-series, an eight week primetime television event that will air on Sunday nights during April and May. The series will explore the human impact of climate change and will also feature CI Vice Chairman Harrison Ford who will report on deforestation from Indonesia. This month, Sanjayan returns as the featured contributor to the BBC World News series The Power of Nature.  In 2015, PBS will air his five part miniseries EARTH, A New Wild that will explore how humans are inextricably woven into every aspect of the planet's natural systems.

The influence of global and social media in shining a light on key issues and sparking conversations that create momentum has never been greater or more critical, added Seligmann. With two more billion people expected by mid-century and increasing pressure on strained ecosystems that provide our food, water, climate and economic security, we need solutions built on the understanding that the care of Earth's life support systems is in the best interest of every single person alive today. Sanjayan understands these challenges as well as anyone. His voice will be an important one in our mission to support people by protecting nature.
Available content for media (***Please Provide Image Credits***)

Photos are available for download here: 
For more information, contact:
Jenny Parker McCloskey, Queen Bee Communications 
+1 (917) 763-3263 /
Kim McCabe, Vice President, News + Publicity, Conservation International
+1 (703) 341-2546/ 

Note to editors:
Conservation International (CI) - Building upon a strong foundation of science, partnership and field demonstration, CI empowers societies to responsibly and sustainably care for nature, our global biodiversity, for the well-being of people. Founded in 1987, CI is headquartered in the Washington, D.C. area and employs more than 800 staff in 30 countries on six continents, and has nearly 1,000 partners around the world. For more information, please visit our website at: or visit us on Facebook,  YouTube  and Twitter​.


​Images Slideshow Carousel (half page)

Carousel Configuration

EditCarousel Title:
Edit Carousel Orientation:leftLeft
    EditAnchor tag for sticky nav (optional):[Optional]
    EditImage RenditionID Small:15[Optional]
    EditImage RenditionID Webkit:17[Optional]
    EditImage RenditionID Medium:18[Optional]
    EditImage RenditionID Large:19[Optional]

    Carousel Images


    EditImage Alt Text:Image Alt Text value
    EditCaption Title:
    EditCaption Description:
    EditPhoto Credit:© Ami Vitale/
    Add another image...
    Remove this module

    Other Media