It takes a village to protect a prairie. Meet our talented team of leaders, specialists, managers and more – the people dedicated to making the American Prairie mission a reality.
Alison is the CEO of American Prairie. She has led the organization as CEO since February 2018 and had various leadership and management roles with the organization since 2007, including communications, marketing and branding, institutional partnerships and philanthropy. Ms. Fox holds an MBA from the McDonough School of Business at Georgetown University, where she focused on marketing and nonprofit management, and a BA in History from Dartmouth College. She is a member of the Big Sky Chapter of the Young Presidents Organization, Inc. (YPO) and the Advisory Board of William & Mary’s Institute for Integrative Conservation.
I value that American Prairie creates an opportunity for visitors to experience the awe-inspiring scale and natural beauty of an intact native grassland
Anna helps guests plan visits to the prairie, familiarizes them with American Prairie's mission, and facilitates programming and activities at the National Discovery Center in Lewistown.
She holds a BA in History with a minor in Journalism from the University of Montana in Missoula. Her interest in conservation work began on a National Geographic Student Expedition to Switzerland and France that launched a passion for outdoor adventure and communication through writing and photography. Throughout school, her interest in the American West was fostered through research about the role of fine arts in the creation of the National Parks.
Originally from the Great Plains of Oklahoma, Anna has admiration for wide open spaces. Her family has taught her to love and appreciate the outdoors through fishing, hunting, and many roadtrip miles in their suburban headed to new destinations. She has spent summers in Lewistown and the Missouri Breaks for more than half her life visiting her grandparents and falling in love with Central Montana. In her free time, you can find Anna fly fishing, playing with her black lab Georgia, or reading a good book.
I’m so honored to be joining American Prairie in their ambitious efforts to protect the prairie ecosystem that I care so much about. The Missouri Breaks and its wildlife have long captured my heart and I look forward to sharing that passion with others.
Anne’s responsibilities involve organizational tasks that create engaging, enriching events. She joined American Prairie in the spring of 2017, having most recently worked for One Montana, a small nonprofit dedicated to creating a vibrant Montana by connecting rural and urban communities. Anne gained event experience working in press operations for several international sporting events, as well as through MontanaPBS. Born and raised in East Helena, Montana, Anne earned a BA in English from the University of Saint Mary in Leavenworth, Kansas.
I’m excited to work with such dynamic people in creating this unique Reserve because it allows the authenticity of the grasslands and its people to shine.
Becky’s primary responsibilities include oversight of the organization’s marketing and storytelling. She brings a more than a decade of professional experience in marketing and communications, with past work focusing on brand development and relationship building. Most recently, Becky was the Director of Marketing for a small business in Bozeman, Montana, and spent the six years prior at The Ohio State University working on communications and donor relations. Originally from Ohio, Becky holds a BFA in Graphic Design, a BS in Visual Communication, and she completed graduate studies in Journalism– all from Ohio University.
Beth’s primary responsibilities include managing media relations, strategic communications and outreach for American Prairie. She grew up on the prairie in northeastern Montana and feels most at home on the wide-open landscape of American Prairie. Beth is an Emmy-nominated journalist who brings over 13 years of award-winning storytelling experience, with a strong focus on political and environmental issues in Montana. Prior to joining American Prairie, she served as News & Public Affairs producer for MontanaPBS and before that worked as news anchor, reporter, producer and content manager for CBS in Bozeman. Beth holds degrees in journalism and political science from the University of Montana.
It’s easy to get swept away by Montana’s dazzling snow-covered mountains and lush valleys, but the vast grasslands of this magnificent state hold an equally enchanting power. As a Montana native, I am thrilled to be helping to conserve the beautiful landscape I grew up in.
Chuck is a valuable member of the Field team. He provides assistance in the operation and maintenance of the land infrastructure, facilities, structures, grasslands, livestock, and wildlife. He also assists with overseeing the Field Technicians, in addition to completing a wide range of repair work and maintenance work including interior, exterior, and property needs for nearly 400,000 acres and 20+ structures and buildings.
Corrie works to increase awareness and support of American Prairie's conservation mission and to welcome the public to experience and enjoy the prairie. Born on a small farm in the foothills of Virginia's Appalachian mountains, Corrie moved to Montana in 2013, where she's worked since in outreach, communication, and education. She served for three years as the Outreach Director at AERO, working with farmers and ranchers around the state, and has been a naturalist and guide in Yellowstone National Park, a crew leader for the Student Conservation Association, and an adjunct professor at Carroll College and Helena College, teaching writing, communication, and environmental studies. She serves on the Board of Directors of the Bob Marshall Wilderness Foundation, and is the author of two books, including a Montana Book Award Finalist. She currently lives in Lewistown.
I think many folks are aware of what an important model American Prairie is for large scale ecosystem and habitat conservation, but what also excites me is the essential value of American Prairie as an evolving model for collaboration - with our agricultural community, tribes, hunters and anglers, government agencies, and nonprofits. And also with schools, artists, explorers, and more. I'm so thrilled to get to work on building and strengthening those connections, while helping folks better understand, access, and enjoy the prairie.
Crystal is thrilled to be part of such a dynamic, forward-thinking organization. She brings over 15 years of development experience fundraising for the environment, education, healthcare, and public television. She is a Pacific Northwest native born outside of Seattle, Washington and majored in Environmental Studies at the University of Montana in Missoula. She passed a rigorous exam in 2011 earning a Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) designation. Prior to joining American Prairie in 2018, Crystal held the position of Senior Director of Development for Montana PBS and served on the National PBS Development Advisory Committee. Early in her career, she was a ranger in Yellowstone National Park where her deep-seated passion for nature and the environment was solidified. Crystal loves playing basketball, camping, hiking, golfing, mountain biking, watching movies and sports, and spending time with her family and friends.
As our wild places quickly disappear, having the opportunity to contribute in a meaningful way to such a globally important conservation project that will benefit this and future generations is a truly humbling honor.
Dakota serves as a part-time advisor focused on the relationship between American Prairie and the surrounding Indigenous communities. She holds an MA in Industrial Organizational Psychology from Montana State University and a BA in Psychology from the University of Montana. Born in North Dakota and raised throughout rural eastern Montana, Dakota primarily resided on and around several American Indian communities. She has been with American Prairie since its inception and for the vast majority of her career served in operational leadership positions. In 2017, Dakota transitioned to an advisory role, carving out more time to pursue her creative endeavors.
I have always been intrigued by the ambitious scale of American Prairie's vision and continue to admire the organization's consistent pursuit to engage people in a respectful, open-minded, and innovative manner.
Damien resides on the Reserve with his family and serves as the lead liaison for American Prairie’s bison management. He also works as one of our naturalist guides. Prior to joining American Prairie in 2010, Damien worked as Living Collection Keeper at Zoo Montana in Billings, Montana, and as Research Director at Floating Island International, an invention company specializing in water reclamation. Originally from Billings, Damien grew up with a backyard of sagebrush and grass that looked much like the Reserve. He enjoys living in the familiar prairie ecosystem and appreciates that American Prairie is a landscape-sized conservation project.
We’re in the seed stage of the biggest and most genetically diverse conservation herd of bison in the world. Not only that, APR is setting aside a place where bison can really be a part of our grasslands again.
As American Prairie’s Public Policy Specialist, Dan works to share the organization’s story and develop relationships with relevant stakeholders in Washington, D.C. He holds a B.A. in PPEL (Politics, Philosophy, Economics, and Law) and Leadership Studies from the University of Richmond, where two of his younger siblings have since become proud Spiders as well. Dan is also a graduate of the National Outdoor Leadership School, where he spent a semester in the Rocky Mountains, and the School for Field Studies, where he studied wildlife management and conservation in rural Tanzania. He is an avid outdoorsman who loves to spend his weekends snowboarding, camping, and exploring the backcountry. He also likes to read and is always looking for new book recommendations.
Working for American Prairie offers a unique opportunity to use my political expertise on behalf of a nonpartisan mission I believe in. Thoughtful, results-oriented conservation requires input from multiple stakeholders, and I hope to find common ground with all of them.
Dan works as the safety manager for American Prairie and also assists with wildlife restoration projects. He received a BS in resource management from University of Montana Western, and is a trained facilitator in the fields of operational safety leadership and risk management. He is also a commercial rated pilot with the majority of his flight experience gained from flying small bush planes in Alaska, and he’s a member of the aircraft owners and pilot association.
Before joining American Prairie, Dan worked for 8 years as a non-game biologist for the Wyoming Game and Fish Department where he worked mainly with wildlife restoration projects involving trumpeter swans, bald eagles, peregrine falcons, and black footed ferrets. He also worked for the US Fish and Wildlife Service at the National Bison Range in western Montana and worked as a wilderness manager and pilot for over 20 years in Alaska.
Dan is a fourth-generation Montanan. His great-grandparents homesteaded along the front range, and he and his wife are currently building a house near the old family homestead. He was fortunate to be raised in a strong conservation-minded family which pointed him in the direction of a conservation career in order to give back. He grew up fishing and hunting the remote streams and lonely fields of Montana and continues to do so at every opportunity.
I am excited and honored to be a part of such an innovative and large-scale conservation project which will ensure biodiversity and public access in north-central Montana for generations down the road.
Dr. Daniel Kinka is American Prairie's Wildlife Restoration Manager. His primary responsibilities include restoring and monitoring wildlife on the Reserve and managing the wildlife-friendly ranching program "Wild Sky." He also acts as a liaison to scientists conducting research at American Prairie, other non-governmental organizations, agencies, and other external entities. He joined American Prairie in 2018, shortly after completing his doctoral degree in ecology at Utah State University. In graduate school, he studied the use of livestock guardian dogs to promote coexistence between large North American carnivores and ranchers. Originally from Florida and the Washington DC area, Daniel has enjoyed living “out west” since 2010. In addition to restoration ecology and applied science, Daniel harbors a deep passion for science communication, having worked as a science reporter for Utah Public Radio, publishing in High Country News, and serving as a National Geographic Society Fellow.
I was trained as a researcher and an academic. That is a noble career and we rely heavily on the work of research scientists to guide our restoration work at American Prairie Reserve. But, I consider it an honor and a privilege to head out everyday and do the hard and complicated work of actually restoring an ecosystem. I prefer getting my hands dirty, figuratively and literally.
David is the Kären and Jay Abbe Director of the National Discovery Center in Lewistown. He is responsible for providing leadership for the Center, ensuring an exceptional visitor experience, and developing educational programming that fits American Prairie’s mission.
He holds a Master’s in History from Missouri State University in Springfield and a BA in History from Missouri Southern State University in Joplin.
Over the last twenty years, David served as Executive Director of museums in western Oklahoma, Taos, New Mexico, and most recently, Meeteetse, Wyoming, where he helped educate the public about the endangered black-footed ferrets, the photography of rancher/photographer Charles Belden, and the history of the cowboy town.
David grew up in small towns and rural settings, where his family worked hard and enjoyed squirrel hunting, crappie fishing, Southern family dinners, holiday jam sessions with the relatives, and violent football games in the back yard. He still maintains his small house in Meeteetse, but now lives and works in Lewistown.
“I am excited to tell the story of the prairie ecosystem, the natural and human forces that shape it, and the good that American Prairie is doing for the land, future generations, and Montanans who love the outdoors!
Dusty coordinates all logistics for the American Prairie Field School located at Antelope Creek Campground. She works closely with American Prairie field staff as well as Montana Outdoor Science School (MOSS) to implement a year-long prairie science program for middle school students from all around the state.
Dusty grew up in the Sonoran Desert in Arizona among the mighty saguaro cactus and mesquite trees. Her love for the outdoors began as a child — hence the nickname — continued to grow while working as a firefighter on a hotshot crew and smokejumper traveling all over the Western states. Before working with American Prairie, she worked in conservation education and fire prevention for the Forest Service as well as Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks as an office manager in Lewistown.
She enjoys sharing the outdoor world with children and looks forward to connecting kids with nature and the prairie in which we live. Dusty loves spending time with her family and doing anything that gets her outside.
I am so excited to be a part of American Prairie, conserving the prairie for my grandchildren and yours. American Prairie's educational work reminds me of a Wallace Stegner quote: 'Whatever landscape a child is exposed to early on, that will be the sort of gauze through which he or she will see all the world afterwards.
Eliza provides support for the Philanthropy Division and plays a key role in executing fundraising strategies. Eliza has a Bachelor’s Degree in Environmental Science from the University of Redlands. Before joining the full-time staff at American Prairie, Eliza spent a summer working for American Prairie in the project area and then managed a Microbiology and Immunology lab at Montana State University.
Eliza was born and raised in Arusha, Tanzania, and moved to Bozeman at the age of 10. Being raised just hours from the Serengeti National Park Eliza has always had a love for large grasslands and the outdoors.
I was lucky enough to spend a summer getting to know the Prairie and really connecting with it. I am excited to be a part of the team working to protect it, so others can have the chance to experience its beauty.
Ellen’s primary responsibilities focus on habitat restoration, currently in a part-time capacity. Before joining the Field team, Ellen was a graduate research assistant at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL). She is originally from St. John, Washington and earned a B.S. from Washington State University in Natural Resource Sciences, minoring in Rangeland Ecology and Management. She graduated from UNL in December 2016 with an M.S. in Agronomy, specializing in Range and Forage Sciences. Ellen enjoys living on the Reserve and is most excited about working on a landscape-scale conservation project that is available to the public for their use and enjoyment.
There’s something about my upbringing on the family farm and my education in range science that just comes together beautifully to restore grasslands. It’s different mix of people and better than I ever imagined.
Ellie's role at American Prairie revolves around providing marketing and outreach support to the Development team. She grew up in Colorado and New Mexico, walking desert arroyos, hiking mountains, and enjoying the big Western skies. She graduated from Middlebury College in 2016 with BA degrees in Psychology and Religious Studies, and a growing interest in environmental policy and conservation work.
Before joining American Prairie, Ellie worked as the outreach and sales coordinator for a Bozeman business that runs international summer programs for high schoolers. She has also worked with kids in various capacities, including a summer with Girls Inc. where she taught girls the wilderness skills required for hiking and camping in the high desert mountains. She enjoys spending time outdoors—hiking, running and wading in rivers—and she's passionate about conserving wild landscapes for their ecological and societal value.
I enjoy working for American Prairie because I appreciate the scale on which it is operating: its ecosystem-scale approach to conservation, and its long term timescale that keeps in mind the earth, the wildlife, and the people of the future.
Garrett oversees and directs all aspects of American Prairie's land acquisition program, advancing our goal of assembling the largest nature reserve in the contiguous United States.
He received his undergraduate, graduate, and law degrees from the University of Montana, where he focused on environmental and natural resource law and policy, and was named to the inaugural class of Wyss Scholars. Garrett has spent his career in the non-profit conservation space, working to protect land, water, and wildlife at the national, regional, and local scale. In his spare time he enjoys reading and running, cycling and snowboarding, and exploring the road less traveled with his wife, kids, and dogs.
It's a singular honor to participate in such an ambitious project, one working to write the next chapter in America's public land legacy. I'm humbled to play a role in our effort to open a wild western prairie ecosystem for everyone to experience and enjoy.
Hal assists with management of property and casualty insurance, Workers’ Compensation, and employee benefits. He has been the part-time Risk Manager at American Prairie since 2006 and worked as Risk Manager for Missoula County, Montana, from 1986 to 2016. In the past, Hal served as president and a board member of Five Valleys Land Trust in Missoula. Hal was also active in the Cross Creek Protective Society, formed to promote wilderness designation for the Absaroka Beartooth Primitive Area. Originally from Big Timber, Montana, he holds a BA in Anthropology from the University of Montana. Hal has various professional designations including Chartered Property and Casualty Underwriter.
I find the opportunity to help build a large-scale grasslands wildlife reserve in Montana a very satisfying experience.
Heather provides leadership for American Prairie’s finance, accounting, operations, human resources and risk management efforts. As part of the executive management team, she plays a critical role in developing and implementing the organization’s overall strategy. She serves as a strategic thought partner to American Prairie’s Board of Directors and acts as primary staff liaison to the Board.
Prior to joining American Prairie in 2016, Heather worked as Director of Finance & Administration for the Information Technology Center at Montana State University in Bozeman and as Senior Vice President and Director of Capital Markets for Wells Real Estate Funds, a national real estate investment firm based out of Atlanta. She holds an MS in Accounting from Wake Forest University and a BS in Accounting from Auburn University. Originally from Huntsville, Alabama, Heather’s admiration for the vast landscapes and wildlife of the American West began during a trip following high school graduation. She moved to Montana in 2013 to be closer to the outdoor experiences she loves so much.
We look to nature for restoration and solace, so having the opportunity to help steward the preservation of such a rich and diverse landscape is incredibly humbling. I’m inspired every day by the potential life-changing impact this conservation project will have on generations to come.
Henry's role at American Prairie is to provide support for the bison restoration program. This involves fencing, habitat restoration, and bison herd monitoring and handling. Before joining American Prairie in 2018, he worked various seasonal natural resources jobs. He holds an associates degree in Wildlife Resources Management. Growing up, Henry always imagined himself exploring wild places under big skies and found the prairies of north-central Montana the perfect place for just that.
Working under skies this big and in a landscape this vast, I understand how valuable restoration and rewilding of a grassland ecosystem is. To be part of this project that works towards making this incredible ecosystem whole is extraordinarily fulfilling.
Jane is responsible for American Prairie's organizational operations. This includes operational risk management and oversight of the safety program, insurance, and business operations such as contracts and permits. Prior to joining American Prairie in 2014, Jane worked as a Field Representative for U.S. Senators Max Baucus and John Walsh. She holds degrees in political science and Spanish language and literature from Montana State University and an MBA from the University of Montana.
I have a strong connection to the land and wildlife in Montana and am excited to be part of an organization working to preserve our natural treasures for future generations.
Katy supports operations of the Wild Sky Program and executes field projects on Wild Sky Ranches, including the Cameras for Conservation Program. She holds a B.S. in Environmental Science from Rocky Mountain College in Billings, MT. Before joining American Prairie in 2019, Katy was a field technician for various research projects that focused on grassland ecosystems in Montana. She also loves spreading a passion for the outdoors and has led student trips into the Beartooth Mountains and through the Upper Missouri Wild and Scenic River. Growing up in North Dakota, she loved visiting the western badlands. It's where she gained an appreciation for our public lands and prairie wildlife.
I have a strong connection to our Central Montana landscape. It holds many special memories for me. Working to protect this area so that generations to come have the opportunity for the same experiences is so rewarding.
Lars’ primary responsibilities include general maintenance and habitat restoration on American Prairie lands. Before joining American Prairie, he was the interim manager at the University of Nebraska’s Barta Brothers Ranch. He is originally from Chappell, Nebraska and received his education from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln where he earned an MS in Agronomy specializing in Range and Forage Science and BS degrees in Rangeland Ecosystems and Fisheries & Wildlife. He is a member of the Society for Range Management and The Wildlife Society. Lars began working for American Prairie in 2013 and is excited to be part of a project that is effecting change over an entire landscape.
American Prairie has the ability to enrich visitation for a wide range of people and interests.
Lee leads the logistical coordination of hosted trips to American Prairie as well as organization-wide events. Lee received a BA in American Studies from Connecticut College, with a focus on the History of the American West. Prior to moving to Bozeman, she spent eight summers assisting with operations on a horse ranch/camp in northwest Wyoming. She was immediately captivated by the landscape and history of the American West. Growing up in southern Maine, Lee’s family always promoted appreciation for nature and wildlife. With a love for the outdoors, Lee spends much of her free time exploring all that Montana has to offer with her two golden retrievers.
To be a part of something that has such powerful intention and spirit is incredibly exciting. I look forward to watching American Prairie grow, and excite individuals, for many years to come.
Lilly is responsible for providing support for the development team in both fundraising and organizational endeavors. Originally from Montana, Lilly holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Philosophy from Montana State University. Prior to joining American Prairie, Lilly worked for an international education nonprofit headquartered in Bozeman.
Montana is a special spot. I have been lucky enough to have had access to wild places for the majority of my life. Working hard to preserve them forever is an amazing experience.
Linda is part of the Field team, and manages vehicles, buildings, and equipment—as well as people—to keep everything and everyone in good working order. She gets a lot of satisfaction from helping staff get the things they need in order to do their jobs well. She holds a BS in animal science from University of Illinois, an MS in outdoor education center management from Antioch University, and an MS in experiential education theory from Mankato State University.
Linda grew up working hard on a family farm in Illinois, where her family raised cows and grew corn and hay. She had a long career as a park ranger with the National Park Service, working in Montana, Wyoming and Alaska. In the middle of her park ranger years she spent 2 years on a ranch in Texas with longhorns and African wildlife.
She’s lived in remote places in Alaska and Texas, so she enjoys the solitude and weather out on the Reserve. She loves volunteering for local veterinarians. The skills she has learned help her take good care of her sled dogs, bird dogs, and search & rescue dog.
I've been watching for an opportunity to join the APR Reserve team for 5 years and am thrilled to be working here. I love that the mission of our organization is going to provide healthy air, healthy water, and healthy soil for many generations of people, plants and wildlife.
Mark provides leadership for American Prairie’s marketing, communications, and public relations efforts. Mark’s team uses the power of storytelling to build awareness of American Prairie across diverse national and local audiences; engaging donors, driving utilization, and garnering ongoing support. As the Chief Marketing Officer, Mark is part of the executive team, helping to craft and drive American Prairie’s short and long-term strategies for success.
Mark comes to American Prairie from a successful marketing and communications career in the financial services industry. Most recently, Mark served as Vice President of Marketing and Communications for TDECU, the largest Credit Union in Houston. Prior to TDECU, Mark was Executive Director with USAA and held a variety of marketing and strategy positions with Texas Life, AXA
Assistance, and MetLife. Mark holds a BA in psychology from Bucknell University and went on to earn insurance and business certifications from the American College and Babson College.
Originally from the Northeast, Mark’s attachment to America’s grasslands began as a child in the back seat of the family station wagon on cross-country camping trips to our National Parks. It has only become stronger as he and his family have camped and hiked across West Texas, New Mexico, Wyoming, and Montana.
The opportunity to conserve one of the last grassland ecosystems in the world without relying on public funds is a unique and exciting idea. American Prairie represents a powerful approach to large scale conservation and habitat restoration.
Michael serves as Senior Philanthropy Manager at American Prairie. Prior to stepping into this role, he served as Development Director for Montana Shakespeare in the Parks and Development Director of the Bozeman Symphony, and worked previously in a variety of philanthropy positions with American Prairie. He holds a B.A. in Theology, and is active in several community organizations. In addition to his work with American Prairie, Michael provides consulting services to a variety of nonprofits as part of Bozeman-based Stillwater Strategy Partners.
American Prairie stands as a uniquely ambitious, yet achievable, vision in modern conservation: one that honors the wildlife, landscapes, and bold spirit of exploration that makes the American West like few other places on Earth. I am honored and humbled to be part of such a monumental undertaking, which will no doubt be treasured by visitors in generations to come.
A native of Maine, Mike manages recreation across American Prairie’s hundreds of thousands of acres. Believing time spent outside is essential to stewardship, Mike's career has focused on the intersection of recreation and conservation. After graduating from Middlebury College, he managed the Appalachian Mountain Club’s alpine hut system in New Hampshire, then came west to work in Yellowstone National Park for the Yellowstone Forever Institute. Before joining American Prairie, Mike worked in Bozeman as the Program Director at Adventure Scientists. He fell in love with the prairie while directing Landmark, a three-year citizen science project on the prairie. Mike also has a background in education. He spent a year teaching at Ataturk University in Turkey on a Fulbright grant, and has led international photography workshops for National Geographic Student Expeditions. On weekends, Mike loves to ski, climb mountains, grow vegetables, ride motorcycles, and learn new languages.
America’s public lands are a deep source of my love for our country. Working in Yellowstone I often passed through the Roosevelt Arch with its inscription ‘For the benefit and enjoyment of the people.’ I’m excited to contribute to this century’s visionary public lands project and to build opportunities for visitors to explore their native grasslands.
Pedro works with the bison team in the field leading the implementation of everyday actions to reach the goals of American Prairie. He holds an MSc in Natural Resources Management and a BSc in Ecology from the Autonomous University of Chihuahua, Mexico. He is specialized in range and wildlife management and conservation and is certified in Holistic Management by the Savory Institute. He is an active member of the low stress stockmanship and regenerative grazing communities. Before joining American Prairie in 2022, Pedro was the ranch manager for Chapman Livestock LLC in northwestern Oklahoma. Prior to that he managed Rancho El Uno in Chihuahua, where he was also the manager of Mexico’s bison conservation herd. Growing up in northern Mexico and having worked in the Chihuahuan Desert for over 20 years, Pedro is hooked on wide open spaces, wildlife conservation and the culture and life on the range.
For me, working in American Prairie is about untaming the West and helping the buffalo and nature to do their job. That sounds really good to me.
Pete’s responsibilities include strategic leadership, fundraising, and organizational development. Prior to joining American Prairie in 2011, he served as Director of Development and Operations at Property and Environment Research Center, and as Executive Vice President at the Foundation for Research on Economics and the Environment, both in Bozeman. He has also worked as an instructor with National Outdoor Leadership School and served a term on the school’s Advisory Council. Originally from New York State, Pete holds an MS in Resource Conservation from the University of Montana School of Forestry and a BS in Geology from St. Lawrence University. He is active in his community serving as a director of the Bozeman Amateur Hockey Association, the Gallatin Valley Ice Foundation, and as a trustee of the Sourdough Volunteer Fire Department.
I believe that conservation of wild lands is a uniquely American idea, and I’m excited to be involved with the largest American conservation project in a generation.
Rachel manages American Prairie's development database. Originally from Birmingham, Alabama, she holds a Master of Science in Fisheries and Allied Aquacultures from Auburn University and a Bachelor of Science in Biology from Berry College. Prior to joining American Prairie in 2013, she worked as a conservation technician on the Westslope cutthroat trout restoration project with Turner Enterprises at the Flying D Ranch in Bozeman.
I’m excited to join an organization that is working to conserve a unique part of American ecological history by uniting private individuals with a common goal.
Robyn is responsible for planning, organizing, and executing all aspects of American Prairie's Ken Burns American Heritage Prize. This role includes cultivating relationships with members of the National Jury and National Nominating Committee in preparation for the selection of each year's Prize recipient in November, strategizing with American Prairie's Development Team, and coordinating the Prize Presentation Event each May. A Montana native, she holds a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Montana State University. Robyn is active in the Bozeman community, and has served on the Sweet Pea Festival Board for 20 years. She also serves as a Trustee for Bozeman Summit School, where she was the Associate Head of School for nearly 13 years before joining APR in December 2013.
As a fourth generation Montanan, I’m eager to learn from and contribute to American Prairie Reserve’s courageous and progressive initiative to preserve a significant portion of this beautiful state for leisure, research, and enjoyment for many generations to come.
Samantha works with generous donors who are funding our work and long-term goals at American Prairie. Samantha is a Certified Specialist in Planned Giving, and has a Master of Public Administration from Montana State University and a BA in English from Bryn Mawr College. Before joining American Prairie in 2019, Samantha raised major gifts for Montana State University in Bozeman. Samantha grew up in Des Moines, Iowa and fell in love with the West and the prairies of the Northern Great Plains through time spent in Montana, Wyoming and Colorado.
I am continually inspired by the beauty of the landscape, the resilience of its wildlife, and the role we can play in conserving and restoring a vibrant shortgrass prairie ecosystem at American Prairie.
Sarah serves as Philanthropy Manager at American Prairie. Prior to coming to American Prairie, Sarah spent most of her career working in social services. She served in the Peace Corps in Botswana from 2006-2008, and after her service she stayed for three and half years, helping to start an NGO with orphan caretakers who were creating economic opportunities for themselves and others. This was a lucky turn of events, allowing her to spend five and half formative years exploring the Kalahari Desert and the Okavango Delta. Upon her return to the US, she worked as a home based case manager, before stepping into the role of Director of Development at a community food resource center in Southern Indiana, where she also taught cooking classes. She served as a commissioner on the Affordable Housing Commission in Monroe County, Indiana, volunteered for years at a day shelter, and is a trainer of trainers in Naloxone administration. She spends her free time doing the things she loves; hiking, gardening, cooking, and eating.
Experiencing the solitude of nature has become increasingly difficult in our world. American Prairie is ensuring that this will be possible for generations to come, restoring the land and providing a sanctuary for all of us. I am honored to be a part of this project.
Scott’s primary role is leading American Prairie’s bison restoration program; including working with neighbors, agencies and partners around bison and setting long-term goals and strategic direction for the program. Scott moved to Montana in 2015 to join American Prairie. Prior to joining American Prairie, he was a Park Ranger for Sioux County Conservation in his home state of Iowa and earned his B.S. in Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences from South Dakota State University. Since a young age Scott has imagined intact prairies teeming with wildlife and living and working on the prairies of Montana offer just that.
Having intact ecosystems as a place for people to imagine and visit is an important part of the human experience. It is exciting to lead efforts to bring back a missing piece of that experience, the bison. Seeing pieces of an ecosystem come back together is so rewarding, and knowing it will be preserved in perpetuity is fulfilling.
Travis’ primary responsibilities include designing all things digital, along with managing the design of the organization's collateral and marketing materials. With over a decade of digital and print media experience, Travis has worked as a designer for a wide range of Montana businesses and national brands, including Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation and the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS). He holds an BFA in graphic design from St. Cloud State University.
Travis’ role at American Prairie consists of maintaining our land infrastructures and our growing number of buildings and vehicles, while actively ensuring that the organization’s monthly maintenance goals are met. Travis holds a bachelor’s degree in Wildlife Conservation from the University of Rio Grande. Prior to moving to Montana, Travis spent 9 years in the construction field and brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to his role as Maintenance Manager. Originally from Ansonia, Ohio, Travis’ wanderlust led him to Montana in search of adventure and the opportunity to be a part of something bigger than himself. Travis has planted his roots in the prairie and treasures the sense of purpose and freedom that he has found here.
As the world grows more complicated and busy, the peace and tranquility of the prairie grow ever more important.
Trevor manages the accounting operations at American Prairie, ensuring transparency to both donors and the public. He holds a BA in Business and Accounting from Washington and Lee University and a Masters in Accounting from Boston College. Before joining American Prairie in 2018, Trevor worked as a public company auditor for PricewaterhouseCoopers in Denver, CO.
Trevor spent his formative years immersed in the natural world during his family's fly fishing adventures. As he grew older, Trevor pushed the boundaries of what his parents thought a fly fishing adventure entailed. He became enamored with the unrivaled beauty of an undisturbed river ecosystem. His adventures, once measured in miles of trail or river, were now and forever measured in miles from a road.
As I grew older, I did not fear America having too few roads. What I did, and still do fear, is that America will lose more, if not all, undisturbed, fully connected ecosystems. That is why I am thrilled to take part in a conservation project rooted in saving the unique prairie ecosystem for the benefit of the wildlife and people that inhabit it.
As the Accounting Specialist, Will processes vendor payments, records and tracks donations, and creates and produces financial reports. He also maintains the accounting system, internal controls, and helps to produce the annual budget. Will has a Bachelor's in the Science of Business with a Focus in Accounting from Montana State University, and after graduating he did corporate accounting for Enterprise Holdings in Bozeman. In his personal life he enjoys skiing, biking, and backpacking, and anything else that gets him outside. He likes to do trail work trips with the Absaroka Beartooth Wilderness Foundation and helps out with Friends of Hyalite in the summer.
I am really excited to work for American Prairie because of its mission to permanently conserve an amazing habitat for wildlife while also providing access for recreation.
Shelly serves as Senior Philanthropy Manager at American Prairie and is thrilled for the opportunity to connect people to one of the last remaining prairie lands in the world. She has 14 years of fundraising experience working for conservation and education nonprofit organizations in Montana, including Yellowstone National Park. Shelly is originally from the Midwest but made Paradise Valley, Montana her home in 2009. Shelly holds a B.A. in psychology (Go Blue!) and outside of work loves spending as much time possible outside exploring, skiing, fishing and hunting with her husband and German Shorthaired Pointer.
“Being part of American Prairie to conserve and restore one of the last four shortgrass prairie ecosystems in the world is an amazing honor. Montana’s Northern Plains are an oasis of serenity amidst a state that is experiencing significant development. I am truly inspired by the vision and execution of this project to preserve such an important part of our American heritage for future generations to enjoy forever.”
National Board of Directors
American Prairie’s National Board of Directors actively guides the organization’s direction, monitors governance and financial oversight, assists in fundraising, and assures effective leadership to achieve the organization’s mission.
Alison is the CEO of American Prairie. She has led the organization as CEO since February 2018 and had various leadership and management roles with the organization since 2007, including communications, marketing and branding, institutional partnerships and philanthropy. Ms. Fox holds an MBA from the McDonough School of Business at Georgetown University, where she focused on marketing and nonprofit management, and a BA in History from Dartmouth College. She is a member of the Big Sky Chapter of the Young Presidents Organization, Inc. (YPO) and the Advisory Board of William & Mary’s Institute for Integrative Conservation.
I value that American Prairie creates an opportunity for visitors to experience the awe-inspiring scale and natural beauty of an intact native grassland
Alan Airth is a member of the Board of Directors at Mars, Incorporated. He is chairman of the Board Digital Sub-Committee and the Board Advisor Search Committee, as well as serving on the Audit and the Benefits Funding & Investment Oversight Committees.
Prior to joining the Mars board in 2016, Alan was a successful commercial real estate executive. He has extensive experience in asset management, property investment, and executive leadership with a variety of national firms as both manager and owner. Alan was a trusted advisor to Bank of America and Wells Fargo Bank during the 2008-2012 great recession. He served on the SoCal Chapter of the National Association of Industrial and Office Properties Board of Directors for 10 years holding multiple leadership roles including President of the organization.
He serves on the American Prairie Board of Directors and the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Foundation Board. He is a member of the Board of Directors of the Orange County Council, Boy Scouts of America, and a lifetime member of the National Eagle Scout Association. He holds a Fellowship with the National Association of Corporate Directors and is a member of the Private Directors Association. Alan has a Bachelor’s degree in finance and real estate from the University of Arizona and earned his MBA from The Anderson School at UCLA.
A seasoned technology and impact executive, Bill Hilf’s career spans more than 20 years leading complex business, product development, and philanthropic initiatives for global organizations such as Microsoft, HP, and IBM as well as a variety of start-ups in Silicon Valley and beyond.
Hilf currently serves as chief executive officer of Vulcan, the project management firm founded in 1986 by philanthropists Jody Allen and the late Paul G. Allen, co-founder of Microsoft. Hilf leads the company’s three focus areas comprising award-winning, sustainable real estate development, a diverse range of asset and project management supporting the Paul G. Allen Estate and Trust, and strategic advising to the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation and its portfolio of charitable investments in wildlife conservation, ocean health, vibrant communities, and the arts.
Hilf serves as board chair of the Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence (AI2), is a board member for Woodland Park Zoo, and sits on the advisory board for Humanity 2.0. In addition, he is on the board of Grumeti Fund, dedicated to the conservation of the Serengeti, and serves as an advisor to X4Impact, a leading data insights and advisory services company for social innovation in the U.S. He is also founder of High Five Hope, a nonprofit to help street children experience greater confidence, leadership, and hope through the power of sports.
Hilf completed his undergraduate studies at California State University-Fullerton and received his master’s degree from Chapman University.
Bob Greenlee is the Chief Operating Officer of Tusk Holdings, a holding company that manages the operations of Tusk Venture Partners, Tusk Strategies, Pericles Group, and Tusk Philanthropies. He also currently serves on the boards of the Illinois Science and Technology Coalition and Institute, and as board secretary/general counsel to the Illinois Science and Energy Innovation Foundation.
Previously Mr. Greenlee served in various positions in Illinois state government, including serving ultimately as Deputy Governor, and as an attorney with Kirkland and Ellis LLP and The Quinlan Firm. Mr. Greenlee holds a BA from Yale University, a JD from the University of Chicago Law School, and a PhD in History of Religions from the University of Chicago.
Mr. Greenlee has a lifelong interest in conservation, and a long record of advocacy on behalf of conservation, environmental and clean tech causes, including work with The Rockefeller Foundation, Environmental Defense Fund, Good Food Institute, and the Citizens Utility Board.
Clyde is a well-known artist for his western landscapes, which capture the beauty, rhythm, and harmony of each place he paints. His paintings of the West are not theatrical sets intended to reinforce regional mythology, but rather of places that he perceives as already disappearing during his own lifetime. Clyde has painted and shown his work in locations all around the world, and his paintings have been published in several magazines such as the Big Sky Journal, American Artist, and Persimmon Hill. He has traveled from the prairies of Montana to the rocky Atlantic coast, to the hillside estates of Tuscany capturing the beauty on his canvas. Clyde’s intent is to create something beautiful and harmonic, letting the canvas reflect nature’s beauty. His paintings possess qualities meant to outlast the viewer’s initial infatuation, qualities that will last several generations: “Paintings become symbols of all that we are.” Clyde will have a one-man show at the Brinton Museum in Big Horn, WY, opening May of 2016.
Clyde grew up on a farm in Rudyard, Montana, near the Canadian border, where he witnessed the painful and joyful cycles of agricultural life. He was fortunate to be encouraged by his family in the pursuits of art and appreciation of music. Clyde learned early on to work hard and persevere against many kinds of obstacles. Rather than demeaning Clyde’s interests, Clyde’s father, a practical but open-minded farmer, bought his twelve-year-old son’s first painting. Clyde attended Eastern Montana College, in Billings, Montana. He lives outside of Bozeman with his artist wife, Carol Guzman, and became involved in American Prairie with hopes to further our connection with artists and writers for inspirational results.
Mr. Coulter served as Vice Chairman, Managing Director and Senior Advisor at Warburg Pincus, focusing on the firm’s financial services practice from 2005 - 2014.
Mr. Coulter retired in September 2005 as vice chairman of J.P. Morgan & Chase Co. He previously served as Executive Chairman of its investment bank, asset and wealth management, and private equity business. Mr. Coulter was a member of the firm’s three person Office of the Chairman and also its executive committee.
Mr. Coulter came to J.P. Morgan Chase via its July 2000 acquisition of The Beacon Group, a small merchant banking operation. Before joining The Beacon Group, Mr. Coulter was the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the BankAmerica Corporation and Bank of America NT & SA. His career at Bank of America was from 1976 to 1998 and covered a wide range of banking activities.
He served on the board of Aeolus Re, MBIA, Webster Bank, Sterling Financial and the Strayer Corporation. He currently is on the board of The Providence Service Corp., Triton International, and Varo Money, Inc. He also serves on the boards of Lincoln Center, Carnegie Mellon University, Asia Society of Northern California, American Prairie Reserve, Third Way, Macaulay Honors College, and IQ2.
He received both his B.S. and his M.S. from Carnegie Mellon University and currently serves as a Trustee for Carnegie Mellon.
George joined Kelso in 1985 and is a Senior Advisory Partner and Managing Director. He has served as a director of more than 20 former Kelso affiliated companies and as lead director of two public companies. George earned an M.B.A. from the Stanford GSB in 1982 and a B.A. in Business Administration, summa cum laude, from the University of Puget Sound in 1978. He was a C.P.A. and holds a C.M.A.
He has served as Chairman since 2013 and has been a director since 2008 of American Prairie, and is a director of Rx Green Technologies, Square Roots, Survey.com, and Storefront. George is also an advisory director of Investco and US WorldMeds, and is also an advisor to the Investment Committee of the New York Botanical Garden and the University of Puget Sound. He served from 2010 for 6 years on the Stanford GSB Advisory Council and he was treasurer of the University of Puget Sound Board of Trustees, on which he served from 1989 for 23 years.
I was born and raised in SeaTac, Washington, and now live in Larchmont, New York. My family and I have been Montana property owners since 1997, with a ranch on the Boulder River near Big Timber. We enjoy spending time there fly fishing and hiking with family and friends.
Gib Myers is emeritus partner of Mayfield Fund, a private venture capital partnership located in Menlo Park, California and was a Mayfield general partner from 1970 until his retirement in 1998. Since Mayfield’s founding in 1969 until his retirement, the firm invested in more than 350 companies and took approximately 100 companies public. Prior to joining Mayfield, Gib worked for Hewlett-Packard for four years in computer systems. He earned an A.B. degree in Engineering Science from Dartmouth College in 1964 and a M.B.A. from Stanford Graduate School of Business in 1966.
Gib is the founder and previous chairman of the Entrepreneurs Foundation (EF), a non-profit with the mission of developing corporate citizenship and philanthropic efforts to benefit the community. Before merging with the Community Foundation of Silicon Valley, there were 850 member companies, some 30,000 employees that helped more than 650 community organizations, and over $19 million in contributions that were made to the community. Gib is Vice Chairman of American Prairie after 10 years as Chairman.
Gib is a co-founder of the Center for Social Innovation at the Stanford Graduate School of Business. Previously, he was a member of the Stanford Graduate School of Business Advisory Board, on the President’s Leadership Council of Dartmouth College, and a senior fellow and board member of the American Leadership Forum.
His personal interests are photography, skiing, golf and travel. Gib and his wife, Susan, live in Atherton and have two sons and a daughter.
Mrs. Mars is the owner of a working farm that specializes in organic farming and equine training and breeding. David and Karen O’Connor, Olympic Gold, Silver and Bronze Medalists in the sport of three-day eventing, have trained and ridden her competition horses at her two locations in The Plains, Virginia, and Ocala, Florida. Mrs. Mars is the retired Vice President of Mars, Inc., where she was responsible for development of new food products and their marketing strategy. She is a strong supporter of conservation groups concerning land use and the environment as well as an advocate and supporter of women’s education and their employment in the business community. A passionate promoter of the arts, she is Chairman of the Washington National Opera, a member of the board of trustees of the National Museum of Women in the Arts, as well as Vice Chairman of the National Sporting Library & Museum.
Jay and his wife, Karen, reside on their ranch and vineyards outside of Healdsburg, California, 70 miles north of San Francisco, where they grow grapes and produce a modest amount of wine. Jay is a retired technology business executive, having served as Chief Executive Officer of Optical Coating Laboratory in the late 1990s and President and Chief Operating Officer of JDS Uniphase, a fiber optics company, until his retirement in 2001. Prior to his operating roles, Jay also served for 18 years as a management consultant and senior partner with McKinsey & Company. Currently, he remains active as a director of several public companies, a trustee of his independent secondary school in Pennsylvania, and several local community organizations in Sonoma County. Having grown up outside of Philadelphia in a very East Coast family, where “the West” meant Ohio, Jay connected strongly to Montana during a summer job in 1961 working on the Minuteman missile complex in the central part of the state.
Launched in 2005, Mr. Talpins provides strategic direction for Element and is responsible for all major investment decisions for the Fund. Under his leadership, Element’s assets under management have increased from $250M at inception to approximately $14 billion today, and the investors in the Fund include some of the world’s largest pension, endowment and sovereign wealth funds.
Mr. Talpins conducts his philanthropy through the Jeffrey M. Talpins Foundation, which seeks to create opportunities for children to achieve their full potential, support the long-term prosperity for Israel, and conserve open spaces and wildlife. Mr. Talpins serves on the board of the Yale Tobin Center for Economic Policy and the Yale Jackson Institute for Global Affairs, served on the board of the Harlem Children’s Zone (HCZ), and is active in numerous other charities and philanthropic organizations.
Mr. Talpins graduated with a Bachelor of Science (Summa Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa) from Yale University with Distinction in Economics and Applied Mathematics (focus in Finance), and presently lives in New York with his wife, Mara, their two children, and family dog.
Jill Bough has been an integral part of building the growing community of Big Sky, Montana. She and her husband, Loren, were the founders of the local public high school which boasts numerous awards and an International Baccalaureate curriculum. Jill is a photographer whose work has been described as journalistic storytelling. Having lived in Russia for nine years, her projects primarily focus on Russia-related topics and people. She has exhibited in New York, Cambridge, Minneapolis and Moscow, Russia. Having grown up in Montana, Jill is passionately in love with grasslands and prairie. She and Loren own multiple ranches and split their time between the mountains of Big Sky and the prairies of Central Montana. She is excited to be part of the National Board of Directors and hopes that her Montana roots may benefit the organization.
Karen has devoted her energies to preserving America’s last few wild areas, believing land conservation and the preservation of natural habitats are key to providing a meaningful future for our children. Growing up in the wilds of Utah and then living and working in Connecticut and New York have led Karen to American Prairie, which she believes is the most exciting and meaningful land and wildlife conservation project in America today.
Along with serving on the American Prairie National Board of Directors, Karen serves on the boards of the Connecticut Land Conservation Council and The Nature Conservancy of Connecticut, and is actively involved with the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance and The Garden Clubs of America. Previously, Karen worked at the American Museum of Natural History. She enjoys travel, music, gardening, reading, puzzles, moments in nature, and above all, time with her four boys and husband, Sanjeev.
Karen received a B.A. in government from Harvard University and a M.A. in anthropology from Columbia University.
John Banovich Oil Painter
Mr. Anderson founded Anderson Global Macro LLC in 2012 and serves as Chairman and Chief Investment Officer. He launched the Anderson Global Macro fund in May 2013.
From 2008 to 2011, Mr. Anderson served as Chief Investment Officer for Soros Fund Management and its principal entity, the Quantum Fund. Prior to joining Soros, Mr. Anderson was Vice Chairman and Chief Investment Officer of BlackRock, Inc. Mr. Anderson co-founded BlackRock in 1988. Prior to founding BlackRock, Mr. Anderson worked in fixed income research at The First Boston Corporation and in portfolio management at Criterion Investment Management Company.
Mr. Anderson has served on the Treasury Borrowing Advisory Committee and the Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s Investors Advisory Committee on Financial Markets. He currently serves on the board of Rice University in Houston and American Prairie in Montana. Mr. Anderson earned a BS in economics and finance from Nichols College in 1981, and an MBA from Rice University in 1983.
Liliane, a native of Switzerland, grew up in Austria, now living between the US and Germany, enjoyed her education at Sotheby's and Habsburg, Feldman in London, Geneva, and New York before becoming a full-time mother to her four children.
Due to her passion for the environment, art, and education, she leads the family's environmental engagement by serving on the Board of Trustees of Pace University and works closely with the Elisabeth Haub School of Law at Pace which has one of the world’s best environmental law programs. She has served at the Haub School of Environment and Natural Resources at the University of Wyoming for over a decade and is a Director of American Prairie. In addition, she is a member of the Advisory Board of the College of Arts and Sciences at Georgetown University, serves on the Board of Trustees of the Tacoma Art Museum in Washington, and is on the Patrons Steering Committee for the McMullen Museum at Boston College.
Liliane used to be an avid runner and has finished the NYC marathon 4 times to raise funds and awareness for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. Liliane and her husband, Christian, have been co-chairing the Parents Leadership Council at Boston College for five years and are on the Board of Regents where they are engaged in international outreach for the university.
Mara’s lifelong passion for wildlife began as a child and she has been actively involved with the Wildlife Conservation Society for almost 20 years, originally as a volunteer at the Central Park Zoo and she currently serves on their Council. She is passionate that educating children to appreciate wildlife is a key to society’s long-term support for the co-existence of humans with wildlife and wild spaces. Over the years, she has also volunteered at various education initiatives including the American Museum of Natural History and local schools. Mara loves experiencing wildlife and various cultures in developing nations, having traveled to over 40 countries.
Mara devotes the majority of her time to raising her two wonderful children and Italian Water Dog in New York. She looks forward to all the family time she spends with nature at their second home in Montana as well as looking forward to the day that large numbers of students from around the country can visit the bison herds and prairie dog towns on American Prairie.
Nancy Mueller’s interest in nature and marine preservation is derived from her world-wide experiences. Growing up in Latham, NY, she majored in biology and then chemistry at Russell Sage College in Troy, NY. Upon graduation, she joined her future husband, Glenn Mueller in Palo Alto, CA where he earned a Stanford MBA and she worked for Syntex Corporation in pharmaceutical chemistry.
Two children later and with a venture capital husband, Nancy started her own business, Nancy’s Specialty Foods, parlaying Nancy’s Quiche, both appetizers and entrees, to national distribution through retail and club store venues. She sold the business after 22 years of exciting entrepreneurism in 1999.
Widowed in 1994 and with a desire to dream, she had a Feadship Superyacht built for round the world cruising and SCUBA diving. Ten years later, after touring hundreds of remote islands and countries with friends and family, she sold the vessel and returned to a more normal life.
She serves on the boards of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Waimea Ocean Film Festival, San Francisco Opera as well as the American Prairie.
Nancy is married to Robert A. Fox, retired business executive, and lives in Palo Alto, California. She continues to travel extensively and spends time in Hawaii.
Sean Gerrity is the Founder of American Prairie and served as its President and as one of three founding board members from 2002 to early 2018.
Throughout 2001, Sean worked with Curt Freese of World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and many others to determine an effective approach to the soon-to-be American Prairie project. In early 2002, he became American Prairie’s President. His initial priority was to assemble and slowly build, from scratch, a new, free-standing, Montana-based organization that would convert what had long been a spectacularly creative and ambitious conservation idea — carried forward and promoted by WWF and others — into steady, measurable, on-the-ground action.
American Prairie started with just two full-time employees. Sean and Dakota Meeks, with contracted help from Kayla Gerrity, began building and shaping the new organization’s infrastructure, systems and processes, and marketing and fundraising strategies. Most important was fleshing out and further articulating the holistic, compelling vision that would galvanize human energy and guide the actions of American Prairie and its collaborators over the next 17 years.
In early 2018, Sean passed the CEO role to his long-time colleague and fellow executive team member, Alison Fox. By that time, the organization had grown to 35 staff and 18 board trustees, raised more than $125 million dollars in private funding and had purchased twenty-six properties totaling nearly 400,000 private and leased acres. American Prairie had also built and opened two public campgrounds, Kestrel, and the Danny, Joey and Gigi Enrico Science and Education Center, and had reintroduced bison to the prairie.
By 2018, the National Geographic Society had included American Prairie as one of their most important examples of successful large-scale conservation efforts in the world as part of their Last Wild Places initiative. In addition, the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute had officially partnered with American Prairie to lead its core science efforts.
Prior to joining the American Prairie effort, Sean was one of three original founders of Catalyst Consulting in Santa Cruz, California where he worked from 1985 until 2001. Catalyst, a firm specializing in organization development and management training and development, remains in business today and continues to work with clients around the world across a wide range of industries.
Sean grew up primarily in Great Falls, Montana, graduated from Montana State University and also attended the University of Oregon.
His current interests and projects include writing a book about his personal story of leaving private industry to take on the task of starting and building the American Prairie organization, and how he and his team kept the project moving forward during the very challenging early years. The book project is partially funded by the National Geographic Society and is scheduled for publication in early 2022.
He currently enjoys helping with American Prairie’s continued progress in his role as a board member, painting in oils and watercolors, and traveling and exploring the U.S. and the rest of the world with Kayla, his partner of 40 years. Kayla and Sean have a daughter Siri, a son Dylan, and grandson, Lewis.
Sean is a National Geographic Explorer and serves on the Advisory Council for African People and Wildlife, is on the Board of Directors for Namibian-based ORKCA, and the Advisory Council for the Kratt Brother’s Creature Hero Foundation.
The Honorable Shirley Ann Jackson, Ph.D., served as the 18th president of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, the oldest technological research university in the United States, where she led an extraordinary transformation from 1999 to 2022. Described by Time Magazine as “perhaps the ultimate role model for women in science,” Dr. Jackson has held senior leadership positions in academia, government, industry, and research. A theoretical physicist, Dr. Jackson holds an S.B. in Physics and a Ph.D. in Theoretical Elementary Particle Physics, both from MIT.
In September 2014, United States President Barack Obama appointed Dr. Jackson as Co-Chair of the President’s Intelligence Advisory Board, where she served until January of 2017. From 2009 to 2014, Dr. Jackson served on the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST), and, as part of PCAST, was Co-Chair of the President’s Innovation and Technology Advisory Committee (PITAC). Dr. Jackson also served on the U.S. Secretary of State’s International Security Advisory Board from 2011 to 2017, and the U.S. Secretary of Energy Advisory Board from 2013 to 2017.
Before taking the helm at Rensselaer, Dr. Jackson was Chairman of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), from 1995 to 1999. At the NRC, Dr. Jackson conceived and promulgated risk- informed, performance-based regulation and created a new planning, budgeting, and performance management process (PBPM). During her tenure at the NRC, Dr. Jackson spearheaded the formation of the International Nuclear Regulators Association (INRA), and served as its Chairman from 1997 to 1999.
Dr. Jackson is a Life Member of the MIT Corporation, and a former Vice-Chair of the Board of Regents of the Smithsonian Institution. In 2017, she was named Regent Emerita of the Smithsonian Institution. She currently serves on the boards of corporations that include FedEx, Kyndryl, and PSEG. Dr. Jackson also serves on the Global Board of Directors for The Nature Conservancy. She is a former member of the boards of the World Economic Forum USA (WEF USA), IBM, Medtronic, the New York Stock Exchange, Key Corp, AT&T, Marathon Oil, U.S. Steel, and Sealed Air Corporation.
Dr. Jackson is a member of the U.S. National Academy of Engineering, the American Philosophical Society, and the Council on Foreign Relations. She is an international fellow of the British Royal Academy of Engineering, and a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Physical Society, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science, where she served as president in 2004.
Dr. Jackson is the recipient of numerous honors and awards. In 2016, United States President Barack Obama awarded Dr. Jackson the National Medal of Science, the nation’s highest honor in science and engineering.
Most recently, she was named the 2021 recipient of the American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT) Oersted Medal, the 2021 recipient of the FBI Director’s Community Leadership Award, and the 2019 recipient of the American Physical Society (APS) Joseph A. Burton Forum Award.
In 2018, Dr. Jackson was awarded the W.E.B. DuBois Medal from the Hutchins Center for African and African American Research at Harvard University. The medal honors those who have made significant contributions to African and African American history and culture, and more broadly, individuals who advocate for intercultural understanding and human rights in an increasingly global and interconnected world.
In 2007, describing her as “a national treasure,” the National Science Board selected Dr. Jackson as the recipient of The Vannevar Bush Award for “a lifetime of achievements in scientific research, education, and senior statesman-like contributions to public policy.”
Dr. Jackson holds 55 honorary doctoral degrees.
Steven N. Cousins is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Cousins Allied Strategic Advisors, LLC (CASA) that serves clients throughout the country. He was a partner at Armstrong Teasdale, LLP, a 250-person law firm with offices throughout the U.S. Mr. Cousins became Armstrong Teasdale’s first African American lawyer when he joined the firm in 1980. Four years later, he founded and chaired the firm’s first financial restructuring, reorganization and bankruptcy practice – the first associate to start a department at Armstrong Teasdale. In 1987, he became the firm’s first African American partner and one of the few in St. Louis. He served on the firm’s executive committee for 15 years and was one of Armstrong Teasdale’s top rainmakers for twice that long. He has represented global corporate clients such as Peabody Energy and Payless Shoes and high profile clients throughout the country, including a former U.S. Cabinet Member who was vindicated in a Justice Department investigation. He has been listed for 24 years in The Best Lawyers in America, named as a Missouri/Kansas Super Lawyer, and listed in Black Enterprise Magazine as one of the country’s top five bankruptcy lawyers. He is the 2017 recipient of the Martin J. Purcell award from the Missouri Bar Foundation. The award acknowledges an outstanding lawyer that has demonstrated an exceptional degree of competency, integrity, and civility in both professionalism and civic activities. Mr. Cousins received his JD from the University of Pennsylvania Law School in 1980 and BA from Yale University in 1977. An active community leader, Mr. Cousins was the general counsel and member on the executive committee of the St. Louis Regional Chamber of Commerce, vice-chairman of St. Louis Children’s Hospital board and is a St. Louis Art Museum trustee. In addition, he was outside general counsel for Concordance, a path-breaking program to reduce recidivism in St. Louis and beyond. He also served on Washington University’s National Council of the Gephardt Institute for Civic and Community Engagement. He served as the initial co-chair of the St. Louis Internship Program, an inner-city youth jobs program, replicated in 38 cities with more than 3,300 alumni. In addition, Mr. Cousins is a co-founder of the St. Louis Public Schools Foundation, served as a member of the University of Missouri-St. Louis Chancellor’s Council and the national Board of Governors of the Association of Yale Alumni, and was a Webster University trustee.He currently serves on the National Advisory Board of Harvard's prestigious Hutchins Center for African and African American Research.
Susan Matelich is a philanthropist, gardener, and volunteer. She is a CPR instructor, a crewmember and Treasurer of her local Volunteer Ambulance Corps, holding NY State, National Registry EMT certifications with wilderness training. Susan and her husband George are dedicated to aiding first-generation college and graduate students with scholarships at several universities. In 2008, Susan joined the board of American Prairie, and currently serves on the Governance Committee and is the Chair of the Safety Committee. In the fall of 2015, Susan joined the Board of Trustees of the New York Botanical Garden and serves on their Finance Committee. Born in Alberta, Canada, Susan moved to New York and earned a BS in Marketing, cum laude, from NYU’s Stern School of Business, and enjoyed a career as a commercial fashion model and spokesperson. Susan currently resides in Larchmont, New York, when not fly-fishing with her husband and three adult children and son-in-law in Montana.
Susan has been a board member of American Prairie along with her husband Gib since 2002. The opportunity to assemble a huge prairie ecosystem full of wildlife in the 21st century is very compelling and exciting to her. Every time she visits the prairie she enjoys being on the landscape and going to find the bison herd. She and Gib would love to see a herd of 10,000 bison in their lifetime.
Susan has an interest in food sustainability and has been a member of a food investor group through the Philanthropy Workshop in San Francisco. She is also involved with FoodCorps a national nonprofit that connects kids to healthy food in schools. The intersecting issues of food, health, wellness and social justice are important ones to her. Susan is a member of Impact Partners, a social interest film fund that invests primarily in documentaries. IP has supported a number of films at the Sundance Film Festival. She is also on the advisory board of the Bay Area Lyme Foundation. In the past she has served on an independent school board, Crystal Springs Uplands School and the Peninsula Bridge, an educational summer experience for underprivileged students. Susan has three children and eight grandchildren. She enjoys travel, golf, skiing, bridge, reading and spending time with her family. Susan holds a BA in German Studies from Stanford University.
Tim Kelly is Executive Director of EarthHQ, the media arm of the Global Commons Alliance - a collaboration developed by world leading institutions, that brings together scientific, business, government, and nongovernmental organizations to maintain the resilience and stability of Earth’s natural systems.
Previously, Tim was a media executive, Emmy Award-winning film producer, and former President of the National Geographic Society. He also serves as an advisor to the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and is Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Planet3. In addition, Tim serves on the Board of the African wilderness reserve & safari company Great Plains Conservation Trust, and on the Board of the leading environmental science journalism organization, Mongabay.org.
As President of the National Geographic Society, Tim transitioned the primarily print-based organization to a global multimedia force and engineered the launch of the National Geographic Channel, National Geographic Films, and a wide array of digital media products.
American Prairie Emeritus Directors serve as loyal and informed advisors based on their strong tenure and outstanding service to the organization.
Ann, Founder and former President of American Leadership Forum-Silicon Valley (ALF), started the organization on July 1, 1988 and led ALF to April 2000. She continues her involvement with ALF as a Senior Fellow, speaker and advisor.
Subsequently, she has been a consultant to nonprofit organizations. She has participated on numerous boards of directors and advisory boards.
In 2000, Ann was asked by Sean Gerrity, who she worked with in ALF, to join the Board of Directors for American Prairie Foundation (later American Prairie). Soon thereafter, Sean invited her to become the first Chair of the Board. Following 12 years leading ALF, Ann agreed to chair the board for only one year because she wanted more discretionary time. She served on the American Prairie Foundation Board for nine years.
She received a BA in history from the University of Washington in 1962 and an MA in Education from Stanford University in 1964.
Ann lives on the Stanford campus with her husband, Bob DeBusk, a Professor of Cardiology Emeritus at Stanford Medical School. They have a married son, a married daughter and one granddaughter.
Elizabeth was an American Prairie Board member from 2002 to 2016, serving as Treasurer and a member of the Executive Committee. She first became involved in the project in 2001, just as American Prairie was being formed, and helped in the early years as Acting CFO.
She is a retired risk management executive whose career included senior market and credit risk management positions at Bankers Trust, Deutsche Bank, and Salomon Brothers. She was a Managing Director and Chief Credit Officer at Salomon Brothers from 1993 to 1997 when the firm was acquired by Smith Barney.
She has a BA from Harvard, where she studied French and German, and an MBA in Finance from New York University Stern School of Business. After retiring in 1999, she returned to South Strafford, Vermont, where she grew up. She loves living in Vermont and is active locally, serving as one of the Town's Trustees of Public Funds, as well as on the Endowment Committees of several local charities. She is an avid supporter of a number of conservation organizations in Vermont.
Jeff Miller is President of JAMM Ventures, a business consulting company. Prior to establishing his firm, Jeff spent most of his career in operating companies. He was CEO of Documentum, Inc. (DCTM), an enterprise document management software company, from 1993 to 2001, and Chairman of the Board from 1999 to 2003, growing it from 15 employees into a publically traded NASDAQ company with 1,200 employees and revenues over $200 million. Jeff has more than 40 years of high tech experience, in semiconductors, hardware, and software companies, having spent the early years of his career at Fairchild Semiconductor and Intel, and holding senior marketing and general management executive positions at Adaptec and Cadence Design Systems. From 2002 through 2006, Jeff was a venture partner with Redpoint Ventures, focused on mentoring CEOs of several Redpoint companies, particularly those in the enterprise and infrastructure software markets.
Jeff has served on the Board of Directors of a number of high technology companies. He currently serves on the Board of one public company, ServiceNow (SaaS for IT; NOW NYSE). Jeff also serves on four philanthropic Boards: American Prairie (Emeritus Director); the Golden State Warriors Community Foundation (he is a minority owner of the GS Warriors); and two connected with Santa Clara University, the Board of Trustees and the Miller Center for Social Entrepreneurship, where he Chairs the Advisory Board.
Jeff holds a Masters of Business Administration (1976) and a Bachelors of Science degree in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (1973) from Santa Clara University.
Stephenie received her master’s degree in Liberal Arts from the University of Montana in 1984. She has written two books; The Lewis and Clark Companion and Why Sacagawea Deserves the Day Off along with numerous articles on western history. A passion for conservation and resource preservation sparked her ongoing involvement in several non-profit organizations including the Lewis and Clark Trust, American Prairie, and Preserve Montana. Governor Steve Bullock awarded her the Governor’s Humanities Award in February 2019. Stephenie lives in Helena, Montana with her husband John and enjoys paddling in the Upper Missouri River Breaks National Monument every summer.
Susan is an environmental and arts advocate. Before moving to Montana in 1992 with her family, she lived in Houston, Texas, where she was actively involved with the Contemporary Art Museum, The Menil Foundation, and the Museum of Fine Arts as a board member. Susan currently lives with her husband Roy in Missoula, Montana, and is vice president of SAROC, Inc., a family investment company.
Susan is co-founder/supporter of various non-profit organizations: Pacific Writers’ Connection in Honolulu, Families First in Boston and Missoula, Ohana Makamae, Hana Retreat, The Appleseed Foundation, ArtPix, and the PROP Foundation. She has served on the boards of the Orion Society, American Prairie, and the Charles Engelhard Foundation.
Bill has distinguished himself in diverse fields, including education, development, and entertainment. With enthusiasm and dedication, he has undertaken numerous challenges during his career. One of the greatest was his role as president and chief executive officer of the Dallas Center for the Performing Arts Foundation, which was charged with raising $257 million from the private sector toward the total cost of $275 million for a world-class performing arts center for Dallas.
A native of Dallas, Bill earned a Bachelor of Music degree from SMU in 1965 and a Master of Education degree from the University of North Texas in 1970. Returning to SMU in 1973, he devoted the next 25 years to a variety of roles, serving for the last seven years as vice president of Development and External Affairs. Bill left SMU in 1998 to become president and CEO of Up With People, headquartered in Denver. Two years later, he returned to Dallas to assume leadership of the Dallas Center for the Performing Arts Foundation.