Byron Swift

President

Byron has worked to help partner groups and governments throughout Latin America create and sustain protected areas, conserve biodiversity and ecosystem services, and build capacity in sustainable development and environmental policy. He has collaborated to preserve more than 14 million acres of tropical forests and other critical ecosystems. Byron has served as President of Nature and Culture International, founder and President of Rainforest Trust, director of the Energy and Innovation Center at the Environmental Law Institute, and head of the United States office of IUCN – the World Conservation Union. An environmental lawyer, he graduated from Columbia Law School and Stanford University.

Sarah Knudsen

Operations Manager

Sarah helps ensure our team has the tools and support necessary to work efficiently. She has worked with our Argentina team since 2014. Her professional experience includes an internship at Whatcom Land Trust and several years in the field of risk management and insurance. She has degrees in geography and French from Western Washington University. Her geography degree included extensive study of environmental sciences and ecology, and she thoroughly enjoys being able to support this conservation work. Born and raised in Zambia, Sarah has traveled extensively in Africa, Europe and Central America, and looks forward to someday visiting South America also.

Lucila Castro

Lucila Castro

Executive Director of Natura Argentina

Lucila is the Argentine director of Natura International. She has a lifelong interest in conservation, population ecology, and protected areas. Her work addresses the articulation of scientific and technical work, institutional and governmental sector interactions, and local community outreach, all directed towards achieving clear conservation goals. She is also working on a Ph.D. project focused on mammal conservation. Since 2010, Lucila has been a member of the GCFA (High Andean Flamingo Conservation Group) and coordinates the flamingo census in Laguna Mar Chiquita, Córdoba. She also belongs to the IUCN Flamingo Specialist Group and the IUCN Connectivity and Conservation Specialist Group; is a board member (general member, early career scientist) at the International Salt Lake Research Society; and serves as a collaborating researcher at the Institute of Ecology of the National University of Mexico. Lucila graduated with a B.Sc. degree in Biology from the National University of Córdoba, Argentina.

Board Members

Ambassador Eric J. Boswell

Ambassador Eric J. Boswell, a career Foreign Service Officer, served as Assistant Secretary of State for Diplomatic Security from 2008 to 2012, and previously from 1996 to 1998, under three presidents.  During that time he led the security and law enforcement arm of the Department of State. He has also been Director of Administration for the Pan American Health Organization and was Senior Advisor for Security Change Management at UN headquarters in New York. His international experience included postings in the Middle East, Canada, and Africa. Ambassador Boswell graduated from Stanford University, and is an enthusiastic birder.

Catherine Plume

Catherine Plume is a lifelong environmentalist and Principal of BlueGreenPlume, LLC. Cathy has designed, implemented, and evaluated natural resources, climate change adaptation, and waste reduction projects for over 25 years. She has held senior positions at World Wildlife Fund, The Nature Conservancy, World Resources Institute, and CARE, and has worked with companies and governments on natural resources conservation and to adopt sustainable supply chains for a variety of commodities. Cathy grew up in Austin, and has lived in Paraguay, Bolivia, Togo, and Mali. She has an M.Sc. in Watershed Management from the University of Arizona, and a B.Sc. in forestry from Stephen F. Austin State University.

Byron Swift

Byron Swift has worked to help partner groups and governments throughout Latin America create and sustain protected areas, conserve biodiversity and ecosystem services, and build capacity in sustainable development and environmental policy. He has worked in almost all countries of the continent to conserve over 14 million acres of rainforests and other critical ecosystems. Byron has served as President of Nature and Culture International, founder and President of Rainforest Trust, director of the Energy and Innovation Center at the Environmental Law Institute, and  head of the United States office of IUCN – the World Conservation Union. An environmental lawyer, he graduated from Columbia Law School and Stanford University.

Margaret (Meg) Symington

Margaret (Meg) Symington began her career studying tropical ecology in the Peruvian Amazon, carrying out the first long-term field study on the black spider monkey. She has broad experience designing and implementing conservation and natural resources management projects throughout Latin America, and currently directs World Wildlife Fund’s Amazon programs working to ensure the long-term sustainability of protected area systems in Brazil, Peru and Colombia. Previously she served as an environmental advisor in the Bureau for Latin America and the Caribbean at the U.S. Agency for International Development. Dr. Symington received her B.A. in biology from Yale University and her Ph.D. in ecology and evolutionary biology from Princeton University.

William Ambrose

Bill Ambrose made a career pivot to the non-profit sector a decade ago after founding successful business research ventures in the fields of telecommunications, renewable energy, and water infrastructure.  He is now engaged at the board level with a number of organizations, including efforts to end extreme poverty and build resiliency in the drylands of Africa, programs to provide access to clean water in West Africa, and initiatives to conserve fragile ecosystems and address climate change in Africa and Latin America. He received an MBA from Columbia University and BA in economics and intercultural studies from Trinity College, Hartford CT.

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