"We are very excited about the leadership in biodiversity conservation and the management expertise that Mark brings with him to Defenders," Schlickeisen says. "Dr. Shaffer has a proven track record of sound conservation initiatives throughout his career and a wealth of experience in science, economics, and resource planning from both the government and nonprofit communities. Defenders has been experiencing very rapid growth for the past several years, and we will benefit tremendously from the expertise that Mark offers."
Shaffer has served as the director of Heritage Network Operations for the Nature Conservancy since 1994 and previously was Vice President of The Wilderness Society for Resource Planning and Economics. He also had more than eleven years of experience with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, where he supervised and administered 18 cooperative research units, provided staff support to the director on international wildlife issues, and was a specialist on migratory bird conservation. As senior ecological adviser at the U.S. Agency for Intenational Development, he provided guidance in creation of a program for biodiversity conservation in developing nations.
Over the past 15 years, Shaffer has represented the U.S. government on official delegations to a number of international events and served on many prestigious task forces and panels related to the conservation of species and biological diversity. Shaffer has served as a consultant for federal and state agencies on various endangered species issues including protection of the grizzly bear, California condor, black-footed ferret, and northern spotted owl.
Shaffer's doctoral research on grizzly bears pioneered population viability analysis and other basic concepts in conservation biology. He earned his Ph.D. from Duke University's School of Forestry and Environmental Studies and his B.S. from Indiana University of Pennsylvania.
Widely published, Shaffer has writtten a number of reports, scientific papers, and book chapters related to biodiversity including The Promise of GAP Analysis for Understanding Biodiversity published in 1996.
"I am delighted to be joining Defenders of Wildlife," Shaffer says, "because of the organization's great reputation as a leading conservation organization and its focus on biodiversity. Defenders offers a unique opportunity to combine a scientific background with creative policy making in areas where interests in ecology, economics, and conservation policy intersect. I look forward to joining this fine team."
Shaffer succeeds James K. Wyerman as Vice President for Program. Wyerman is leaving Defenders after a long, distinguished service at the organization to accept the position of Executive Director of 20/20 Vision.
Defenders of Wildlife is a nonprofit organization with more than 285,000 members and supporters nationwide that supports protection of native species in their natural habitat. The organization is noted for its leadership on endangered species issues.
Contact(s):Joan Moody, 202-682-9400 x220 (Media)
Ken Goldman, 202-682-9400 x221 (Media)