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Bob Irvin

President & CEO, American Rivers

Bob Irvin

Bob Irvin became President and CEO of American Rivers in July 2011. As President, Bob leads American Rivers in its mission to protect and restore our nation’s rivers. He is responsible for management of the strategic, programmatic, and financial operations of American Rivers.

Bob is an expert in biodiversity conservation, wildlife law, and the Endangered Species Act. Before becoming President of American Rivers, Bob was Senior Vice President for Conservation Programs at Defenders of Wildlife. In that position, he led Defenders’ conservation programs, including field conservation, conservation policy, international conservation, and litigation. He supervised a staff of more than 60 policy experts, scientists, and lawyers dedicated to the conservation of wildlife and wildlife habitat.

Bob has also served as Director of U.S. Conservation for World Wildlife Fund; Vice President for Marine Wildlife Conservation and General Counsel for the Center for Marine Conservation; Senior Counsel for Fish and Wildlife on the Majority Staff of the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works; Counsel and Director of the Fisheries and Wildlife Division, National Wildlife Federation; Trial Attorney in the Civil Division of the U.S. Department of Justice; and was in private legal practice in Portland, Oregon.

He has written and lectured extensively on biodiversity conservation issues. He is the co-editor, with Donald C. Baur, of the American Bar Association’s deskbook on the Endangered Species Act, ESA: Law, Policy, and Perspectives (2nd ed. 2011). He co-authored, with Michael J. Bean, the chapter on the Endangered Species Act and marine species in Ocean and Coastal Law and Policy (American Bar Association 2008). He was a member of the IUCN’s Red List Criteria Review Working Group which revised the standards for listing threatened species globally. He has taught Biodiversity Protection at Vermont Law School for nearly 20 years and has also taught at the University of Maryland School of Law.

Bob graduated magna cum laude with a B.S. degree in Forest Science from Utah State University in 1980. He earned a J.D., Order of the Coif, in 1983 from the University of Oregon School of Law. He has served as co-chair of the Environment, Energy, and Natural Resources Section of the District of Columbia Bar and on the board of directors of the Environmental Law Institute.

About American Rivers

American Rivers protects wild rivers, restores damaged rivers and conserves clean water for people and nature. Since 1973, American Rivers has protected and restored more than 150,000 miles of rivers through advocacy efforts, on-the-ground projects and an annual America’s Most Endangered Rivers® campaign. Headquartered in Washington, DC, American Rivers has offices across the country and more than 250,000 members, supporters and volunteers.

Summit Sessions

Restoring Nature