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Andrea Santy

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Andrea serves as the Director of Program Development for the Smithsonian Institution’s Conservation Commons, an action network that applies the institution’s cultural and scientific expertise to achieve outcomes truly consequential to sustaining Earth’s biodiversity and ecosystems. In this role, she serves as the major fundraising officer for Earth Optimism and Working Land and Seascapes, and lends her expertise in conservation and capacity building to strengthen and develop partnerships.

Andrea joined Smithsonian after nearly two decades at the World Wildlife Fund (WWF). At WWF she served as the Director of the Russell E. Train Education for Nature Program and contributed to the development of 2000+ conservation leaders across Africa, Asia, and Latin America. During her tenure, she led a $5-million program to build capacity for protected area management in the Andes-Amazon; developed a multi-year reforestation and restoration program; launched several fellowships programs in countries undergoing dramatic social, political and economic change; and partnered with SAS, a leading data analytics company, on a project to crowdsource data on global conservation learning opportunities. She co-founded the Conservation Leadership Community of Practice and was part of the planning committee for the 2019 Conservation for Capacity Building Conference in London, UK.

Prior to joining WWF, Andrea had a brief but memorable stint managing the Sarapiqui Conservation Learning Center in Chilamate, Costa Rica, an experience that contributed to her passion for improving outcomes for people and nature. She has also served as an international student advisor at American University and taught English in Germany.

Andrea brings more than 20 years of experience in international education and exchange, conservation capacity development, and cross-cultural communications. She is fluent in Spanish. She holds a master’s degree in international communication from American University, Washington, DC and a bachelor’s degree in international relations from the University of Dayton, Dayton, OH.

Photo credit: Keith Arnold/WWF

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