Board of Directors

Adrian ForsythAdrian Forsyth, President and co-founder of ACA, has a Harvard PhD in tropical ecology and 30 years of conservation experience in the region. He has served as the Director of Biodiversity Science at the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation and as Vice President at Conservation International. He is currently VP for Programs at the Blue Moon Fund and research associate at the Smithsonian Institution. He also serves as president of the Board of Friends of the Osa, a nonprofit in Costa Rica. Adrian has supported his fieldwork by serving as a university professor, professional conservationist, and consultant. He is also one of North America’s finest writers on the subject of natural history and has authored nine books.

Enrique OrtizEnrique Ortiz, Vice President and co-founder of the Amazon Conservation Association, is one of Peru’s most respected conservationists, having established one of the first environmental groups in Peru (APECO). He has excellent scientific credentials as an authority on rainforest management and has worked with major groups such as Conservation International, the Wildlife Conservation Society, and the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation. He currently serves as a Senior Program Officer for the blue moon fund. He was featured in the documentary film Amazon Gold that bears witness to the destruction of the rainforest due to illegal gold mining along the Madre de Dios River in Peru.

Bruce BabbittBruce Babbitt served as Governor of Arizona from 1978 to 1987 and as Secretary of the Interior from 1993 to 2001. He received a BA in geology from the University of Notre Dame, a MSc in geophysics from the University of Newcastle upon Tyne which he attended as a Marshall Scholar and a JD from Harvard Law School. He is the Chairman of the Board of the World Wildlife Fund and a fellow of the Blue Moon Fund where he is presently researching infrastructure development issues in the Amazon Basin.

Dorothy BattenDorothy Batten is Director of Landmark Communications, Inc., a company which operates the Weather Channel and other media and information businesses. She received a BA in economics and an MBA at the Darden Graduate School of Business Administration. She is actively involved at the University of Virginia’s Batten Institute and at the Jefferson Scholars Foundation, and is currently co-Chair of the Arts Council. Her goal is to encourage future leaders through education and the media to find positive, innovative and responsible solutions to the planet’s environmental challenges.

Wade DavisWade Davis, an ethnographer, writer, photographer, and filmmaker, is currently an Explorer-in-Residence at the National Geographic Society. He holds degrees in anthropology and biology and received his PhD in ethnobotany, all from Harvard University. Mostly through the Harvard Botanical Museum, he spent over three years in the Amazon and Andes as a plant explorer, living among fifteen indigenous groups in eight Latin American nations while making some 6,000 botanical collections. His work later took him to Haiti to investigate folk preparations implicated in the creation of zombies. He is the author of 13 books including One River, Light at the Edge of the World, The Serpent and the Rainbow and The Wayfinders. His many film credits include “Light at the Edge of the World,” an eight-hour celebration of culture currently airing internationally on the National Geographic Channel.

Sarah duPontSarah duPont is pursuing her lifelong dedication to education and to the protection of the planet. She has been the recipient of the Charlottesville Village Award, the Dorothy Corwin Spirit of Life Award, the Global Syndicate Humanitarian Award and Worldwide Children’s Foundation of New York’s Humanitarian Award. She is President and Founder of the Amazon Aid Foundation, a non-profit organization that promotes greater awareness and increased scientific knowledge of the Amazon to people and cultures worldwide, and is the producer of the documentary film Amazon Gold, a journey that bears witness to the destruction of the rainforest due to illegal gold mining along the Madre de Dios River in Peru.

Thomas LovejoyThomas Lovejoy, conservation biologist, made the fate of tropical forests a public issue.  In 1980, he coined the term “biological diversity” and drew up the first projections of global extinction rates for the Global 2000 Report to the President. Dr. Lovejoy is currently the Biodiversity Chair at The H. John Heinz III Center for Science, Economics and the Environment.  From 2002 to 2008 he served as President of the Heinz Center. Before moving to The Heinz Center, he was the World Bank’s Chief Biodiversity Advisor, Lead Specialist for Environment for Latin America and the Caribbean and Senior Advisor to the President of the United Nations Foundation. Dr. Lovejoy has been Assistant Secretary and Counselor to the Secretary at the Smithsonian Institution, Science Advisor to the Secretary of the Interior, and Executive Vice President of the World Wildlife Fund–U.S. He developed the idea for the Minimum Critical Size of Ecosystems project (a joint project between the Smithsonian and Brazil's INPA), originated the concept of debt-for-nature swaps, and is the founder of the public television series Nature. In 2001 he was awarded the Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement. He received his BS and PhD (biology) degrees from Yale University.

amy rosenthalAmy Rosenthal  is Science-Policy Specialist with the Natural Capital Project, a joint venture among World Wildlife Fund, The Nature Conservancy, Stanford University, and the University of Minnesota to integrate nature's values into decisions about management and policy. She is also a senior researcher with WWF. Previously, Amy was Deputy Director for Projects at Amazon Conservation Association, where she designed and managed major conservation initiatives and established ACA’s REDD program. She has contributed to policy and research across Latin America and in Indonesia. Amy holds a Master’s degree from Stanford University and a bachelor’s from Amherst College. She currently serves as treasurer of the ACA board of directors. 

Kathy RuttenbergKathy Ruttenberg, a ceramic sculptor and lifelong animal lover and conservationist, received her BFA with Honors from the School of Visual Arts in New York, after which she continued with graduate courses overseas focused on painting. She exhibited her work widely and won an honorable mention in 1980 for her animated film in the Varna International Film Festival. Since 1998, after a course at Greenwich House Pottery, Kathy has focused on the ceramic medium. She soon moved her studio to upstate New York, where she could draw from her greatest sources of inspiration: nature and wildlife. Her sculptures, which play on the exchange between the human and animal kingdom, have been exhibited in prestigious galleries and museums throughout the world. Kathy’s work is part of the collections of The Tisch Children’s Zoo in Central Park, N.Y., the Mamirauá Sustainable Development Reserve, Brazil, as well as the WOCEF in Icheon, Korea. Her work has been featured in a variety of major ceramics publications. At present, Kathy works and resides, with her family of animals in upstate New York. At this critical moment, her intention is that her relationship with conservation deepens with time.

Miles SilmanMiles Silman, Professor of Biology and director of the Wake Forest University Center for Energy, Environment and Sustainability, has performed research in the western Amazon and the Andes for over 20 years. His research is focused on biodiversity and the responses of ecosystems to climate change, particularly the effects of climate on setting species ranges, as well as fundamental ecosystem processes such as carbon storage and nutrient cycling. Dr. Silman’s current projects include the Andes Biodiversity and Ecosystem Research Group, a consortium studying the effects of climate change on biodiversity and ecosystem function in the Peruvian Andes. Previous work includes the study of the role of life history and plant-animal interactions in the structure and diversity of tropical tree communities in Manu National Park, Peru, and a paleoecological investigation into the composition and stability of tropical tree communities over time. Dr. Silman received a PhD in zoology from Duke University and graduated with a BA in biology from the University of Missouri.

Pedro SolanoPedro Solano is an internationally known environmental lawyer with over 20 years experience, currently working with SPDA (the Peruvian Society for Environmental Law). Mr. Solano has played a key role in the design of the legal framework to regulate Peruvian natural protected areas and other legal instruments for conservation.  He has worked on environmental politics and policy, legal tools and incentives for private and community based conservation and ecotourism, at both a national and international level. He has published ten books on conservation topics.

Steve Voorhees, is CEO and Founder of Ridgeline Energy. He focuses on site acquisition and corporate development. Prior to entering the wind energy business, Mr. Voorhees invented the patented BikeLid system and founded BikeLid Systems, LLC. Mr. Voorhees sits on the board of directors of the successor company, Starlight Media LLC. Earlier in his career Mr. Voorhees was a field engineer for the University of Washington Applied Physics Laboratory working with the Office of Naval Research on polar research. In the early 1980s, he worked as a field engineer in the oil drilling industry on Alaska's North Slope and in the Persian Gulf. Mr. Voorhees has a Bachelor's degree in geography from Middlebury College. He currently serves as secretary of the ACA board of directors. 

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Enrique and Bruce with map

Enrique Ortiz and Bruce Babbitt travel the Los Amigos River. Photo: David Sherwood

ACA Board regarding

Sarah duPont, Gigi Hancock and herpetologist guide Wilfredo Arrizabal on a trip to Manu National Park. Photo: Raechel Running

Enrique Ortiz

ACA’s co-founder and Board member, Enrique Ortiz, in Manu National Park. Photo: Raechel Running

ACA Board looking

Wilfredo Arrizabal with Sarah duPont and Gigi Hancock in Manu National Park. Photo: Raechel Running

Enrique and Adrian

Enrique Ortiz and Adrian Forsyth in Lima for signing of Peru's first conservation concession in 2001.

Kathy on canopy

Visit to the canopy walkway at Wayqecha. From left, Peter Kross, Kathy Ruttenberg, Adrian Forsyth and Cesar Moran. Photo: Ronald Catpo

Kathy with monkey

Kathy Ruttenberg and a spider monkey. Photo: Ronald Catpo

Darwin and Jeff

Darwin Forsyth and Jeff Woodman. Photo: Ronald Catpo

Connie and Jeff

Connie and Jeff Woodman visiting the Queros Wachiperi native community. Photo: Ronald Catpo

Enrique and Sarah NatGeo

Enrique Ortiz and Sarah duPont as part of a panel discussion at National Geographic in March 2013 after a showing of the film Amazon Gold. Photo: Megan MacDowell



red tapestry