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Jonathan Baillie (Chairman)

Chief Scientist, National Geographic Society

Jonathan Baillie is the Chief Scientist and Executive Vice President of Science and Exploration at the National Geographic Society. Baillie oversees Grants, Operating Programs, National Geographic Labs, Explorer Programs and the International team.

Baillie joined the Society in 2016 after 20 years at the Zoological Society of London (ZSL), where he served in various capacities, most recently as Conservation Programmes Director. As director, Baillie oversaw conservation projects focusing on threatened species and their habitats in more than 50 countries.

Early in his career, Baillie was responsible for the first International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of threatened species to define the status of the world’s mammals.

Among his achievements at ZSL, Baillie founded the EDGE of Existence program, which focuses on Evolutionary Distinct and Globally Endangered (EDGE) species and supports young scientists around the world working to protect animals facing extinction. He also started the ZSL Conservation Technology Unit that developed monitoring and surveillance systems for protected areas. In addition, Baillie helped initiate United for Wildlife, led by the Duke of Cambridge, a collaboration of seven of the most influential conservation organizations working to address illegal wildlife trade at scale.