The Nature Conservancy has named Jennifer Morris, currently president of Conservation International, as its next Chief Executive Officer (CEO). For the past 25 years, Morris has been dedicated to protecting the environment for people and nature. Her decades of leadership, proven management skills, and passion for TNC’s mission will propel the organization to deliver on its ambitious mission—conserving the lands and waters on which all life depends.
Morris will start at TNC on May 18, 2020 and will be based at the organization’s headquarters in Arlington, VA. Sally Jewell, TNC’s interim CEO, will continue to serve as CEO until then and will maintain her seat on the Global Board of Directors.
“I am honored, energized, and inspired by the opportunity to work with The Nature Conservancy’s passionate and committed team to build on their tremendous legacy of conservation leadership,” said Morris. “Twenty-five years ago, I set out to build a career dedicated to protecting nature and bettering the lives of all who depend on it, and I can think of no better place than TNC to continue on that journey. TNC’s world-class programs, vast network of dedicated volunteers and supporters, and track record of well-respected science and innovative partnerships is what the world needs now more than ever to build a brighter future for both people and the planet.”
Morris joined Conservation International in 1998, serving in a number of leadership roles, including Chief Operating Officer, before being named president of the organization in 2017. Across her various roles, she led Conservation International’s work with corporations, headed its Ecosystem Finance Division, and developed programs and partnerships with groups ranging from indigenous communities to global corporation to multilateral finance institutions. Prior to joining Conservation International, Morris was a business development consultant with Women’s World Banking.
“The TNC community set a bold vision for the organization’s next leader, and we are excited to have found that leader in Jennifer,” said Fran Ulmer, Chair of TNC’s global Board of Directors. “Jennifer will bring to TNC the proven management skills, passion for conservation, global perspective, and inclusive, collaborative leadership style that will propel our team and our partners to even greater impact in achieving our mission. The Search Committee is grateful for the robust input we received from across the organization and the outpouring of support for our important mission. I am confident that our thorough search has identified a leader who will accelerate TNC’s critical conservation work—as well as the equally important work to live and uphold our values.”
Since 1951, TNC has worked to conserve the lands and waters on which all life depends. The organization has grown to become one of the most effective and wide-reaching environmental organizations in the world.
“Over the past year I have been inspired by the deep commitment of my TNC colleagues, our volunteers, supporters and partners, to creating a future where people and nature thrive and I am confident that Jennifer is the right person to lead the organization at this pivotal time,” said interim CEO Sally Jewell. “Jennifer’s global perspective, deep conservation experience, and reputation as an inspiring and fun leader makes her ideally suited to shape the next chapter in TNC’s 69-year history. As I continue my role on TNC’s board of directors, I look forward to working closely with Jennifer and her team to nurture this great organization at a time when our planet needs us most.”
In addition to her expertise in global conservation and economic development, Morris is also an avid outdoor enthusiast, spending many summers hiking and camping in Sun Valley, ID. She has lived abroad in Namibia, Zimbabwe, Bolivia, and rural Japan. Morris has a bachelor’s degree in political science from Emory University in Atlanta, GA and a master’s degree in international affairs with a focus on business development and microfinance from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs in New York, NY. She lives in Washington, D.C. with her husband and daughter.