Director of Conservation Priorities
M.A. Energy and Environmental Analysis, Boston University,B.A. Latin American Studies, University of Illinois
Matt Foster joined Global Wildlife Conservation in September 2019 as Director of Wildlands Priorities, where he provides strategic guidance to the Wildlands focal area in the protection of priority sites for saving threatened species and combating climate change. Matt works with GWC team members and partners to increase the portfolio of site conservation investments through identifying Key Biodiversity Areas and other sites of high conservation priority that merit additional attention, and then developing projects to conserve these sites. Additionally, Matt serves as one of the GWC representatives to the Key Biodiversity Areas Partnership committee and is a member of the KBA Technical Working Group.
Prior to joining Global Wildlife Conservation, Matt consulted with the Global Environment Facility where he facilitated the development and then the initial implementation of a new suite of indicators to measure progress toward GEF goals during the next four-year cycle of GEF funding that began in July 2018. He also recently served as Science and Monitoring Manager at Rainforest Trust helping to standardize their methods for project selection and indicator reporting. From 2011-2016 Matt served as Senior Conservation Planner at National Fish and Wildlife Foundation where he led efforts to develop a common approach for regional planning across the US and managed a process for standardized project mapping and monitoring of Foundation grants. Matt worked with Conservation International from 2001 to 2011 focusing on conservation priority setting, including managing some of the early KBA identification processes in Latin America and Eastern and Southern Africa. Matt has also held positions with International Fund for Animal Welfare, Rockford Public School System (Illinois), and La Voz Latina (Illinois).
Matt's commitment and passion for biodiversity conservation began as a child in the prairies, creeks and forests of Northern Illinois, and has continued throughout his schooling and career, where he has been able to combine his love for international cultures and languages with nature conservation. In addition to playing with maps and biodiversity data, Matt enjoys bicycling, running, swimming, cooking, and spending time outdoors with his wife and two sons.