- Cristian Samper, the President and CEO of the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), will step down to join the Bezos Earth Fund.
- Samper, who has led WCS for the past decade, will be the Managing Director of the $3 billion “Nature Solutions” portfolio at the Bezos Earth Fund.
- The Bezos Earth Fund was launched by Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos in 2020 to “drive climate and nature solutions.”
Cristián Samper, the President and CEO of the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), will step down after a decade at the helm of the conservation organization to join the Bezos Earth Fund, the Amazon.com founder’s philanthropic initiative that aims to “drive climate and nature solutions.”
According to a statement from WCS, Samper will continue to serve as CEO until his successor is appointed, which is expected by the fall. Samper has been serving as an advisor to the Bezos Earth Fund since last year.
Once he joins the Bezos Earth Fund, Samper will be the Managing Director of the fund’s $3 billion “Nature Solutions” portfolio, which is focused on protecting and restoring nature and transforming food systems.
“It has been a great honor to serve as President and CEO of WCS for the past ten years,” said Samper in a statement. “I am proud of what we have accomplished working with the Board of Trustees and all my colleagues in our zoos, aquarium and in our country programs across the world. I am inspired by their passion, talent and commitment to our mission to save wildlife and wild places.”
Samper has at the forefront of WCS’s effort to develop a 2030 strategic plan, which he discussed in an interview with Mongabay last November.
“The year 2020 will be remembered as one of the most challenging for our generation. The pandemic, which has impacted the lives of all people and all nations, has reminded us that we are all part of nature. We are at an inflection point; a moment that demands new solutions to how we live and interact with nature,” he told Mongabay. “Our work is crucial to solving the climate, biodiversity and health crises.”
“Our new strategy is based on the interconnectedness of these crises and most importantly, their solutions. The next decade will be crucial if we want to build a carbon neutral and nature positive future for us and all life on Earth.”