President & CEO, Defenders of Wildlife
Jamie Rappaport Clark, who took over the reins as President & CEO of Defenders of Wildlife in October, 2011, has been devoted to the preservation and protection of America’s wildlife throughout her career. Jamie came to Defenders in 2004 after a 20-year career in conservation with the federal government, mostly with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (the Service). In recognition of her accomplishments and national leadership in this field, President Bill Clinton appointed her as director of the Service in 1997, a post she held until 2001. During her tenure as director, Jamie oversaw the establishment of 27 new refuges and presided over the recovery of key endangered species such as the bald eagle and the gray wolf. Jamie’s tenure as director of the Service was also marked by the adoption of a number of innovative policies to encourage landowners to voluntarily conserve wildlife.
Under Jamie’s leadership, Defenders has provided our vast wildlife expertise to help the Obama administration shape the first-ever solar energy development program with strong protections for wildlife and habitat on public lands. She guided our efforts with members of Congress to create the National Climate Change and Wildlife Science Center and successfully advocated for wildlife protections that are now central to forest management policies. She has expanded our efforts to provide tools and education to ranchers and others to help people coexist with wildlife, including wolves, bears, panthers and prairie dogs. Jamie’s philosophy is to collaborate with others who share our commitment to wildlife conservation and challenge those who violate or seek to weaken our nation’s environmental laws.
Jamie is recognized as a leading national expert on the Endangered Species Act and imperiled wildlife. She has testified before Congress on numerous occasions in support of strong fish and wildlife conservation laws. Her leadership and expertise have helped defeat numerous efforts to undermine the Endangered Species Act.