5 JUNE 2023 (Calgary, AB) – Today, the Wilder Institute/Calgary Zoo, a global authority on wildlife conservation, announced the appointment of Dr. Gráinne Michelle McCabe as its Chief Conservation Officer, a newly-created role on its executive team focused on global expansion. A renowned researcher and anthropologist with deep experience leading conservation programs around the world, Dr. McCabe will lead strategic development for conservation translocations and community conservation initiatives, strengthen connections with stakeholders and partners, and coordinate research for a wide array of international programs dedicated to saving species at risk of extinction.
“We are thrilled to welcome Dr. McCabe to the Wilder Institute and the Calgary Zoo’s executive team,” said Dr. Clément Lanthier, President & Chief Executive Officer of the Wilder Institute/Calgary Zoo. “This role was created to help strategically guide the Wilder Institute through our ambitious expansion of conservation programs by 2030. With her 15 years of international experience in leading transformations, translocation and community conservation, we’re confident Dr. McCabe will help to build the Wilder Institute’s national and global reputation as a leader in wildlife conservation.”
Dr. McCabe holds a PhD in ecological anthropology from the University of Texas at San Antonio and a Master’s degree in biological anthropology from the University of Calgary. Dr. McCabe’s career has been spent at the intersection of zoos and conservation. Previously, she was Head of Field Conservation & Science at Bristol Zoological Society, where she directed a portfolio of international conservation programs in countries such as Tanzania, Madagascar, Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea, Costa Rica, the Philippines, South Africa, and the United Kingdom.
Dr. McCabe recently joined the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Task Force on Biodiversity and Family Planning which is focused on removing barriers to family planning across the world; work that is linked to improved outcomes for women’s education, local economies, and conservation. As an anthropologist, along with being a conservationist, she is passionate about exploring how people interact with nature and wildlife as a means to support sustainable solutions for a healthy, biodiverse ecosystem.
“As someone who grew up in Calgary, I’ve long admired its zoo and in more recent years have been inspired by the conservation work of the Wilder Institute,” said Dr. McCabe. “I am honoured to join the team and proud to help the Wilder Institute continue to grow its global reach. The biodiversity crisis is one that will affect everyone, so we must continue to build bridges between countries, governments, organizations, and communities to help protect species most at risk.”
Dr. McCabe began her new role on May 15 which sees her join the Executive Leadership team providing strategic leadership to the Conservation & Science Department, along with strategic direction for all conservation efforts across the six countries in which the Wilder Institute operates.
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