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Steven Monfort

John and Adrienne Mars Director, Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute; Deputy Director, Smithsonian's National Zoo

Steven Monfort
BA University of California San Diego; DVM and MSc. University of California Davis; Ph.D. George Mason University

Dr. Monfort is director and chief scientist of the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute (SCBI), headquartered on 3,200-acres in Front Royal, Virginia. SCBI provides leadership in the Smithsonian’s global effort to use science-based approaches to conserve species and the habitats they require for survival. SCBI scientists conduct research and train conservation professionals in more than 30 countries worldwide in a wide range of disciplines including wildlife ecology, forest/climate change research, genetics/genomics, reproductive sciences and zoo biology.

Throughout his career Monfort has used multidisciplinary, collaborative science to help save species and habitats and restore animals to the wild. He is an expert in zoo biology, animal health, reproductive biology, behavioral ecology, and conservation biology. He was an early innovator in developing noninvasive endocrine monitoring techniques that are now widely used for assessing reproductive status and well being of wildlife species in zoos and in the wild. Monfort created the Smithsonian-Mason School of Conservation which provides transformative, hands-on education and professional development in conservation biology and allied fields for undergraduates, graduates and professionals. Monfort helped catalyze and launch a number of significant conservation initiatives, including the Sahara Conservation Fund; Conservation Centers for Species Survival; Panama Amphibian Rescue and Conservation Project; and the Global Tiger Initiative. He has served as the chair of the Asian Wild Horse Species Survival Plan and is a member of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature’s antelope, deer and conservation breeding specialist groups. He joined Lewa as science advisor in 2015.

Summit Sessions

Science, Conservation, Inspiration Pitches for the Planet