Audubon Washington Welcomes Dr. Deborah Jensen as New Executive Director

Veteran conservationist brings proven leadership experience

I’m thrilled to announce that, after a nation-wide search, Dr. Deborah Jensen will be joining Audubon as the vice president and executive director for Audubon Washington. Jensen brings decades of experience leading nonprofit organizations, managing high-performing teams, and advancing conservation and community goals in Washington State. As CEO of the Woodland Park Zoo for over twelve years, she led a significant transformation of the organization, forging a new public-private partnership with the City of Seattle. She also expanded the Zoo’s field conservation programs to operate or support some 35 projects worldwide.

Before joining the Woodland Park Zoo, Jensen served for nearly a decade at The Nature Conservancy, where as vice president for conservation science she helped craft a new vision for the organization, focused on conservation of landscapes and habitats. She has also worked with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, Social Venture Partners, and Thrive Washington in addition to serving on the boards of the Puget Sound Leadership Council, the Washington Wildlife and Recreation Coalition, and the Society for Conservation Biology. Deborah is a seasoned leader and manager capable of growing Audubon’s presence in the Pacific Northwest. 

Jensen attended UC Berkeley, earning a bachelor’s degree in botany, and a master’s and doctorate in energy and resources.

“A naturalist since childhood, I’ve been lucky to have a career where I could first study nature as a scientist, and later lead an organization that connected people with nature and inspired them to take action to save species and habitat,” said Jensen. “Joining the Audubon Washington team gives me the opportunity to combine both of these.  I look forward to working with the great staff team, chapters and partners to create lasting conservation and policy solutions for birds and people in our state.”

Deborah will join a cohort of Audubon state directors who collaborate across the network, directing conservation, policy, and educational efforts. 

~Doug Santoni, Board Chair

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