WCS Staff

Meet the WCS conservationists and specialists from around the world at the World Parks Congress 2014.  For general inquiries or to schedule a meeting,  please contact wpc@wcs.org.

Select WPC Stream:
James Watson
Director, Science and Research Initiative
James is an Associate Professor Fellow at University of Queensland and Director of Science and Research Initiative at the Wildlife Conservation Society. For the past six years, James has directed WCS’s climate change program, leading the planning and implementation of climate adaptation and REDD+ projects throughout WCS’s landscape, seascape, and species conservation programs. He currently serves on the leadership committee for the Science for Nature and People (SNAP) Initiative, the International Panel for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) Data and Knowledge Task Force, and was chair of the IUCN’s climate change specialist group. James was recently elected the global president of the Society for Conservation Biology. He is the director the Green Fire Science research group (www.greenfirescience.com) whose mission is to do applied research that is linked directly to the practice of conservation. in 2004 where, funded by a Rhodes Scholarship, he explored the effects of habitat fragmentation on birds in Madagascar and Australia. James is the current President-elect of the Society of Conservation Biology; Chair of the IUCN’s Climate Change Specialist Group; an Associate Professor at the University of Queensland, Australia; an editor of four conservation journals (Conservation Biology, Diversity and Distributions, Scientific Reports, and Pacific Conservation Biology); and he has published more than 80 peer-reviewed and popular articles on conservation-related issues.
John Calvelli
Executive Vice President for Public Affairs
John F. Calvelli is the Executive Vice President of Public Affairs for the Wildlife Conservation Society. John serves on the Executive Management team that manages the overall organization and he specifically oversees the work of WCS in Government and Community Affairs, Policy, Communications, Marketing and the WCS Digital Program. John is leading and coordinating the organization’s effort to build a wildlife conservation movement that will inspire and engage the public in this effort. He is currently the Director of the 96 Elephants Campaign with more than 200 partner organizations. John was a founder and currently serves as Chair of the International Conservation Partnership (ICP), which is comprised of senior public affairs representatives from the major global U.S. conservation organizations. He also serves on the board of the Bodhi Tree Foundation.

Prior to joining WCS, John served as the Chief of Staff in Washington, DC to Congressman Eliot Engel, Ranking Member of the United States House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee. The Republic of Italy bestowed the honorific title of Knighthood in the Order of Merit to John for his work promoting stronger US-Italy relations. He graduated from Fordham University and went on to earn a law degree from Fordham Law School.

John Delaney
Assistant Director of Communications
John Delaney is the Assistant Director of Communications for the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Public Affairs Division. He focuses primarily on WCS’s Global Conservation programs, helping to publicize WCS’s international field work through the production of media plans, press releases, and other activities and materials. Delaney also helps to establish and maintain connections with reporters, producers, and other media personnel from around the world. Previously, he was a reporter covering municipal government, local affairs, and crime in North Brunswick, New Jersey for Greater Media Newspapers. Delaney holds a BA in professional writing and journalism from Kutztown University and a certificate in conservation biology from Columbia University’s Center for Environmental Research and Conservation.
John Gwilym Robinson
Executive Vice President, Conservation & Science

As the Executive Vice President for Conservation and Science at the Wildlife Conservation Society, John Robinson oversees WCS conservation programs in the Americas, Africa and Asia. Focusing on primate behavior and ecology, he received his doctorate in zoology from the University of North Carolina in 1977. His postdoctoral studies were with the Smithsonian Institution. In 1980, he joined the faculty of the University of Florida, and established the Program for Studies in Tropical Conservation, a graduate program providing training to students from tropical countries. He joined the Wildlife Conservation Society in 1990. He is a Past President of the Society for Conservation Biology, served as Chairman of the Board of The Christensen Fund and of Foundations of Success. Recently, he was elected Councilor for North America and Vice President with the IUCN. In 2003, Dr. Robinson was inducted into the Royal Order of the Golden Ark by King Bernhard of the Netherlands, in recognition of lifetime achievement and service to conservation.

John Robinson has written extensively on the impact of subsistence and commercial hunting in tropical forests, and has a long interest in the sustainable use of natural resources. He is interested in the relationship between conservation research and practice, and the application of conservation theory to conservation policy and implementation. He has over 180 publications, including "Neotropical Wildlife Use and Conservation" (1991), co-edited with Kent Redford, “Hunting for sustainability in tropical forests" (2000), co-edited by Elizabeth Bennett, “The Cutting Edge. Conserving wildlife in tropical forests” (2001), co-edited with Robert Fimbel and Alejandro Grajal, and “Conservation of exploited species” (2001), co-edited with John Reynolds, Georgina Mace and Kent Redford.

Joseph Walston
Vice President, Field Conservation Programs
Joe is currently the Vice President for Field Conservation Programs. Prior to this position, Joe was the Executive Director for the Asia Program and spent time in a regional leadership role in Zambia and as the Country Director for the Gabon Program. Prior to Africa, he was in Asia for WCS as the Director of the Cambodia Program, where had been working for eight years. In 2005 his contributions to Cambodian conservation were recognized by Prime Minister Hun Sen with the awarding of its highest civilian honor. Joe has previously worked in conservation in Indochina for ten years.
Julie Kunen
Regional Executive Director, LACP
Julie L. Kunen is currently the Vice President of the Americas program at the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), where she oversees conservation activities in 15 countries, from Canada to Tierra del Fuego. Dr. Kunen joined WCS in 2011, in the capacity of Executive Director for the Latin America and Caribbean Program, after serving as Senior Advisor and Chief of Staff in the Bureau for Policy, Planning, and Learning at the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), and Special Assistant to the Administrator of USAID. From 2005-2009, she was the Forestry Advisor in USAID’s Latin America and Caribbean Bureau, managing regional conservation programs in the Amazon and advising on climate change, sustainable forestry, and natural resources management programming in the region. Dr. Kunen joined USAID as a AAAS Science Policy Fellow in 2003. Dr. Kunen received a Ph.D. in anthropology from the University of Arizona in 2001 and spent two years teaching anthropology and archaeology before joining USAID. She is Adjunct Professor in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Maryland. Dr. Kunen is the author of several scholarly articles and a book, “Ancient Maya Life in the Far West Bajo: Social and Environmental Change in the Wetlands of Belize".
Kate Mastro
Program Officer
Kate Mastro has been with WCS since 2005, working for the Training and Capacity Building Program, the Living Landscapes Program and the WCS Institute, among others. At Providence College, she studied Spanish and Public and Community Service Studies, as well as Humanities. While an undergraduate, she interned with an organization focusing on empowering women, FINCA Perú, located in Ayacucho. In Peru, Kate worked with a community-led daycare, soup kitchen and local women’s group. Kate received a Master’s degree in Global Affairs focusing on issues concerning gender, race and class from Rutgers University in May 2010. She is currently a Program Officer for Conservation Operations where she is responsible for managing the Graduate Scholarship Program.
Kathryn Mathias
Conservation Trust Investment Survey Project Manager
Katy Mathias combines experience in nonprofit management, performance measurement and project leadership in her role as the Conservation Trust Investment Survey Project Manager. Katy earned a Masters in Public and Private Management (MBA) from the Yale School of Management, with concentrations in Strategy and Finance, and a Bachelors in Political Science from Tufts University. She has over 15 years of experience in management and finance, having served as a consultant to for- and not-for-profit organizations in organizational effectiveness, executive compensation, performance measurement & analysis and project effectiveness. In recent years, Katy has served as the Associate Director at Salish Sea Expeditions and the Business Manager at the Center for Wooden Boats, roles that focused on financial management, business systems implementation and organizational strategy. She volunteers as the Board President of Peacock Family Center on Bainbridge Island, WA.
Mariana Montoya
Director, Peru
Mariana, WCS Peru director since 2013, obtained her PhD in geography from the University of Texas – Austin, where she focused on the sustainability of socioecological systems in the Peruvian Amazon. Previously, she obtained her master’s degree in Ecosystem Management (Autonomous University of Baja California) and her undergraduate degree in Biology (National Agrarian University La Molina). Mariana has experience in Latin American conservation and development, including work with WWF and the National Protected Areas Service. She has lead in the design, implementation, and supervision of various projects of biodiversity conservation, indigenous organization strengthening, poverty alleviation, natural resource management, watershed management, and environmental threat mitigation in Peru.
Mary Dixon
Senior Vice President for Communications

Mary Dixon, with more than 30 years of communications experience, serves as Senior Vice President of Communications for the Wildlife Conservation Society, based at the Bronx Zoo. She began this position in October, 2007. As SVP of Communications, she manages internal communications, earned media, crisis communications and corporate communications for WCS’s zoos and aquarium (Bronx Zoo, Central Park Zoo, Prospect Park Zoo, Queens Zoo, New York Aquarium), and for its conservation work in more than 60 nations around the world. Previously, Ms. Dixon worked in the Clinton/Gore White House, Capitol Hill, and as an award-winning journalist working in newspapers, magazines and television. In addition, she works as an adjunct professor at Fordham University teaching political communications.

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