New York (Sept. 8, 2010) –  Dr. Steven E. Sanderson, President and CEO of the Wildlife Conservation Society, has announced that he will retire in July 2012.

Dr. Sanderson, who has led WCS since 2001, will retire after more than 30 years serving in wildlife conservation, poverty alleviation, and academia.

“I am deeply appreciative of the opportunity to serve with WCS, the most global cultural institution in New York,” said Dr. Sanderson. “It is a privilege to work with the most dedicated, effective and creative colleagues anywhere, on behalf of saving wildlife and wild places around the globe. The point of the announcement is not my retirement but to set a calendar for the continuation of our mission. During the next two years, we will continue to work furiously as stewards of conservation and cultural life in New York.”

Ward Woods, Chairman of the WCS Board said, “Steve is an extraordinary champion of WCS, improving our facilities in New York and expanding our global conservation work into more than 60 nations. He has led a renaissance at the Bronx Zoo, a successful $650 million capital campaign, and the beginning of a transformation of the New York Aquarium. Perhaps more importantly, he has aligned the strengths of our parks and global efforts as one powerful and unmatched force protecting nature and our planet. Today, WCS is a non-profit with vision, and management to match. It’s indicative of his foresight that he has planned a thoughtful transition as well as an outline of what we want to accomplish during his remaining tenure.”

During Dr. Sanderson’s professional life, he has also tried to strengthen the connections between deforestation and climate change, conservation and poverty, and conservation in areas of violent political conflict. A member of the Council on Foreign Relations and a former Fulbright Scholar in Mexico, Dr. Sanderson has written and lectured on Latin America, rural poverty, biodiversity conservation and impacts of global climate change on wildlife.

Prior to his appointment in 2001, Dr. Sanderson was Dean of Emory College at Emory University and he served on the faculty at the University of Florida. In the 1980s, he held a Rockefeller Foundation International Relations Fellowship and a Council on Foreign Relations International Affairs Fellowship, among others. He also served as Ford Foundation Program Officer in Brazil. In 1978, Dr. Sanderson received a Ph.D. in Political Science from Stanford University.  

Mary Dixon: 347-840-1242,

The Wildlife Conservation Society saves wildlife and wild places worldwide. We do so through science, global conservation, education and the management of the world's largest system of urban wildlife parks, led by the flagship Bronx Zoo. Together these activities change attitudes towards nature and help people imagine wildlife and humans living in harmony. WCS is committed to this mission because it is essential to the integrity of life on Earth.