Monica P. Medina joined the Wildlife Conservation Society on June 1, 2023, as President and CEO. She oversees WCS in New York City and across the world in its mission to save wildlife and wild places. She has had a distinguished career in advancing conservation, science, and environmental policy on behalf of people and wildlife working at the highest levels of government, international diplomacy and in nonprofits, and academia.
Just prior to WCS, Ms. Medina worked in the U.S. Department of State as the first U.S. Diplomat Designated to Advocate for Global Biodiversity and served as U.S. Assistant Secretary for Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs. At the U.S. Department of State, Ms. Medina was pivotal to the Biden Administration’s adoption of the 30x30 goal—the protection of at least 30 percent of the planet’s land and oceans by 2030. Further, Medina was a leading negotiator for the U.S. behind the adoption of the historic United Nations agreement to protect marine biodiversity in international waters. In the private sector, Ms. Medina served as the Senior Director for Ocean Policy at the National Geographic Society, and as the ocean lead at the Walton Family Foundation. She was also Co-Founder and Publisher of Our Daily Planet, an e-newsletter on conservation and the environment.
Ms. Medina attended college on an Army R.O.T.C. scholarship and began her career on active duty in the Army General Counsel’s Office. She received the Department of Defense Medal for Distinguished Public Service and the Army Meritorious Service Medal. She has a bachelor’s degree from Georgetown University and a J.D. from Columbia Law School.