Joe Walston

Executive Vice President for Global Conservation

Joe Walston is the Executive Vice President for WCS Global which operates across over 50 countries, in 13 regions worldwide where most of its +3,000 staff are based. These programs are aligned with five Thematic Programs: Marine, Health, Forests & Climate Change, Rights & Communities, and Counter Wildlife Trafficking, as well as WCS’s International Policy, Markets and Species Programs. The position also oversees the Science Council which, through WCS Global’s 200+ PhDs, drives the science underpinning WCS’s conservation strategies across its global portfolio. WCS Global also operates a Europe program, currently in Germany, France, Brussels (EU) and the U.K.

Joe has worked for WCS for over 20 years, beginning when he helped establish the WCS Cambodia Program, leading the first nationwide wildlife surveys of Cambodian forests since the Khmer Rouge, which resulted in him being awarded the country’s highest civilian honor. He went on to lead conservation programs in the Congo Basin and Southern Africa before moving to New York to become the Director of the Asia Program and then the Senior Vice President for WCS’s Global Field Programs. Joe’s scientific publications have included topics such as describing new species, conservation effectiveness, the global future of conservation, forests and climate change, prioritization of investments and species strategies. Joe also has a specific interest in bats and, in 2012, a new species of tube-nosed bat was named Murina walstonii in recognition of his conservation efforts.

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