Instructor: Cristián Samper, Ph.D.

Cristián Samper, Ph.D.
Cristián Samper has served as President & Chief Executive Officer of the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) since 2012. WCS is one the largest environmental non-profit organizations in the world, established in 1895 to save wildlife and wild places. WCS manages the largest network of urban wildlife parks, hosting four million visitors each year, and carries long-term field research and conservation programs in more than 60 countries.

Dr. Samper will step down as President & CEO of WCS in 2022 to become the Managing Director and Leader of Nature Solutions at the Bezos Earth Fund.

Prior to joining WCS, Dr. Samper served as Director of the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History for a decade, having led a major renovation of the exhibitions, transformed the conservation and digitization of collections, and recruited the next generation of research scientists. Prior to joining the Smithsonian, he was the founding director of the Alexander von Humboldt Institute, the national biodiversity research institute for Colombia. He currently serves on the board of the Carnegie Institution for Science, the CIAT-Bioversity Alliance, the Joyce Foundation and the Summit Foundation, and served on the Harvard Board of Overseers. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and Principal Advisor to the Bezos Earth Fund.

Dr. Samper grew up in Colombia, studied biology from the Universidad de Los Andes, and earned and MA and Ph.D. from Harvard University. He lives in New York with his wife and two children.

Classes by this instructor


As leaders from around the world convene in New York City for Climate Week 2022, NYBG will host a symposium to investigate new trends in climate science, why forests are crucial in mitigating climate change, and what individuals can do more...
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NYBG