Section Menu

Wildlands Network Announces Appointment of New Executive Director

Salt Lake City, Utah (June 1, 2020) – Wildlands Network’s board of directors is proud to announce their selection of Katie Davis as the organization’s next executive director. Wildlands Network spearheaded the idea of large landscape conservation in North America nearly three decades ago and has since been at the forefront of the movement to preserve wildlife corridors and connectivity across the continent.   

Davis in Kenai Fjords National Park, Alaska in 2015

“I’m excited to share this news of Wildlands Network’s new executive director,” said Steve Olson, president of the Board of Directors. “Katie brings extensive leadership experience and enthusiasm and has already been instrumental in building out the organization’s structure and strategy during a period of rapid growth.”

Davis joined Wildlands Network in 2016 as a public lands advocate before transitioning to the role of Western Wildway director, a position in which she oversaw the organization’s work to preserve and protect wildlife habitat on western public lands. In 2019, she advanced to the role of associate director. Davis has a degree in ecology from Vanderbilt University and a juris doctorate, with an emphasis in environmental law, from the University of Oregon School of Law. She has extensive leadership experience and has been instrumental in building out the organization’s structure and strategy during a period of rapid growth. A native of Utah, she will lead the organization from its headquarters in Salt Lake City. 

“I joined Wildlands Network because I was inspired by its continental vision of conservation and its history of using groundbreaking science to advance innovative policy,” said Davis. “As part of the next generation of conservation leaders in North America, I am privileged to now have the opportunity to lead an amazingly diverse and sophisticated binational team toward a shared vision of a better future for wildlife and humans.” 

Katie will take over the role from Greg Costello, who has served as executive director since 2013.  Under Greg’s leadership, the organization doubled in size and budget, while embarking on ambitious policy reform projects on both the state and federal level in both countries. Wildlands Network is now leading projects across North America resulting in direct, on-the-ground improvements to regional wildlife habitat and connectivity. Greg will remain with Wildlands Network, transitioning to the new role of Conservation Director, in which he will oversee the organization’s conservation programs and advise program staff on strategic project design. 

“I’ve had the privilege to both hire Katie and work with her as she’s grown from a conservation advocate to Western Wildway director to associate director and now, executive director,” said Costello. “Katie is a tremendously talented conservationist, lawyer and leader; she is the right person to lead Wildlands Network in the next phase of our organizational development as we continue to expand our capacity to engage in the challenge of reconnecting, restoring and rewilding North America.”    

Wildlands Network has more than 25 staff and contractors working across the United States and Mexico, as well as strong partnerships with organizations and individuals in Canada. As an international organization focused on North America, Wildlands Network is uniquely positioned to lead the conversation about the future of continental wildlife conservation and continue to expand the vision of what is possible in the 21st century.  

“I am thrilled to see Katie become our next executive director, and incredibly pleased with the foresight from Greg and the decisiveness from our board of directors, as they will allow Wildlands Network to have a smooth and positive leadership transition,” said Mexico and Borderlands Program Director Juan Carlos Bravo. “Katie has already done so much for our organization, imprinting her style of leadership in our systems, with a smart and progressive vision of what non-profit management is, that she was the perfect choice. I will be happy to support her in materializing her vision for a new iteration of our collective dream.” 

Since 1991, Wildlands Network has been committed to reconnecting, restoring and rewilding North America for the benefit of all species. Our work is founded in science, driven by fieldwork and furthered through strategic policy and partnerships. We envision a North America where nature is undivided, and where people coexist in harmony with our native plants and animals. Visit wildlandsnetwork.org to learn more. 

Tell us what you think! Note: All comments are moderated before appearing here.