Julia Migne

Director, Conservation Optimism
Brian Heppenstall

Lecturer in Wildlife, Ecology and Conservation, Kingston Maurward College

I lead and deliver a part-theory, part hand-on course in Wildlife, Ecology and Conservation at Kingston Maurward College, on the South Coast of the UK. I have managed Rangers and Engagement staff and overseen species and habitat management for over 20 years, but my passions are around people and conservation. From writing bids for engagement projects/roles to developing the future workforce, I believe the key to a brighter ecological future lies with people. I received the Alumni of the Year Award from Bournemouth University, in 2018, nominated for my work in supporting young people in Conservation, and our team have developed an industry standard placement scheme. I am also the co-host of a Conservation podcast; The Hive.

Danni Parks

Trustee, WildTeam UK

I'm a Trustee of WildTeam UK - an organisation providing conservationists with the training and skills needed to design and deliver their projects. I am also Director of the Whitley Fund for Nature - a London-based charity offering conservation leaders across the Global South funding (Awards), training and profile boost.
Ivette Solis

Director, Amazona lilacina Foundation

I'm a biologist from Ecuador with more than five years of fieldwork experience with birds. I'm a founder and CEO of Amazona Lilacina Foundation I'm interested in everything around wildlife conservation, conservation NGO management, conservation solutions.

Kristi Foster

Head of Engagement, Conservation Careers

Andrea Santy

Program Director, Wildfire, XPRIZE

Andrea is the Program Director for the Wildfire XPRIZE. XPRIZE leverages the power of competition to catalyze innovation and accelerate a more hopeful future by incentivizing radical breakthroughs for the benefit of humanity. 

Prior to joining XPRIZE, Andrea served an 11 month detail as the Interim Director of Smithsonian's Office of Academic Appointments and Internships. She led a team of nine dedicated team members who were responsible for managing internships, fellowship, and research associate appointments for 3000+ students, researchers, and early- to mid-career professionals. 

In 2019, Andrea joined the Smithsonian as the Director of Program Development for the Smithsonian Institution’s Conservation Commons, an action network that applies the Smithsonian's cultural and scientific expertise to achieve outcomes truly consequential to sustaining Earth’s biodiversity and ecosystems. In this role, she wore three hats -- fundraising, partnerships, and programming for Earth Optimism and the Conservation Commons.

Andrea joined Smithsonian after nearly two decades at the World Wildlife Fund (WWF). At WWF she served as the Director of the Russell E. Train Education for Nature Program and contributed to the development of 2000+ conservation leaders across Africa, Asia, and Latin America. During her tenure, she led a $5-million program to build capacity for protected area management in the Andes-Amazon; developed a multi-year reforestation and restoration program; launched several fellowships programs in countries undergoing dramatic social, political and economic change; and partnered with SAS, a leading data analytics company, on a project to crowd-source data on global conservation learning opportunities. She co-founded the Conservation Leadership Community of Practice and was part of the planning committee for the 2019 Conservation for Capacity Building Conference in London, UK.

Prior to joining WWF, Andrea had a brief but memorable stint managing the Sarapiqui Conservation Learning Center in Chilamate, Costa Rica, an experience that contributed to her passion for improving outcomes for people and nature. She has also served as an international student advisor at American University providing visa and cultural advising to thousands of international students. She taught English in Germany and Costa Rica. She also worked on the highly successful 1994 US PCS Broadband Action, the first ever spectrum auction.

Andrea brings more than 20 years of experience in international education and exchange, conservation capacity development, and cross-cultural communications. She is fluent in Spanish. She holds a master’s degree in international communication from American University, Washington, DC and a bachelor’s degree in international relations from the University of Dayton, Dayton, OH.

Sofiya Shukhova

Conservationist and wildlife artist, self-employed