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January 12, 2018


Executive Salaries at the Nature Conservancy

by Anne Paddock

The Nature Conservancy – a 501 (c) (3) based in Arlington, Virginia – whose mission is “to conserve land and waters on which all life depends” has been around since 1951 and is one of the most popular and wealthy non-profits in the country.

The most recent financial information (the 2015 IRS Form 990 for the year ending June 30, 2016) reports the organization raised $914 million and spent $810 million. Although it appears the organization could have added $104 million to their net fund assets, these unspent funds were used to offset unrealized losses on investments. Consequently, the Nature Conservancy’s net fund assets remained virtually unchanged at year-end at $5.9 billion.

Many people see the Nature Conservancy as an organization that raises nearly a billion dollars a year and therefore has high staff costs. 3,875 persons were employed in FY 2015 with total staff costs reported to be $351.3 million which equates to an average compensation package of $91,000 per employee.  $11.7 million was paid to the following 32 staff:

  • $764,694:  Mark R Tercek, Director, President, and CEO
  • $585,510:  Jim Asp, Chief Development Officer
  • $582,797:  Brian McPeek, Chief Conservation Officer
  • $556,851:  Charles Bedford, Regional Director
  • $477,942:  Mark Burget, EVP and Regional Director
  • $448,028:  Joseph J Keenan, Managing Director
  • $420,234:  Lois Quam, Chief Operating Officer
  • $418,907:  Stephen C Howell, Chief Financial and Administrative Officer
  • $412,410:  William Ginn, EVP, Global Conservation Initiatives
  • $367,407:  Glenn Prickett, Chief External Affairs Officer
  • $360,582:  Peter Wheeler, Vice President
  • $346,084:  William Ulfelder, NY Executive Director
  • $343,077:  Wisia Heneghan, General Counsel
  • $334,430:  Cynthia Smith, VP Human Resources
  • $332,435:  Mathew Brown, Deputy Regional Director
  • $319,134:  Angela Sosdian, Director Development and Gift Planning (former)
  • $317,495:  Philip Tabas, Special Counsel North American Region
  • $316,640:  Michael Sweeney, State Director
  • $313,268:  Mario D’Amico, Chief Marketing Officer
  • $311,495:  R Geoffrey Rochester, Director, Marketing
  • $310,743:  Jean Louis B Ecochard, Chief Information Officer
  • $305,797:  Thomas Neises, VP and Associate Development Officer
  • $293,282:  Lynn Scarlett, Managing Director for Public Policy
  • $291,735:  Justin Adams, Global Managing Director, Lands
  • $284,171:  Aurelio Ramos, Regional Managing Director (Part Year)
  • $282,643:  Maria Damanaki, Global Managing Director, Oceans
  • $279,433:  Janine Wilkin, Chief of Staff
  • $275,309:  Guilio Buccaletti, Chief Strategy Officer and Global Managing Director, Water
  • $274,123:  Peter Kareiva, Chief Scientist (former)
  • $270,448:  Santiago Gowland, Regional Director (Part Year)
  • $259,712:  Karen Berky, Division Director
  • $221,641:  Lynn Hale, Global Managing Director, Oceans (former)

As listed above, 23 of the most highly compensated employees – or 72% – were male while 9 – or 28% – were women.  Of the ten most highly compensated employees, 9 – or 90% – were men – and 1 was a woman who placed 7th on the list.  Of the ten on the bottom of the list of the 32 most highly compensated employees, 5 were men and 5 were women.  The bottom line is that there are nearly 3 times as many men as women on the highly compensated list and in the very top, nearly all are men. At the bottom of the list, the distribution appears to be more equitable with half men and half women.

The IRS Form 990 also reports the organization paid for First Class or Charter Travel for staff although the form does not report how much of the $23.2 million spent on travel was for first, business class or economy class. For key employees working outside the US, a housing allowance or a residences for personal use is paid for by the Nature Conservancy as part of their participation in the Conservancy’s Global Mobility Program.

  1. Janis Hill
    Feb 21 2020

    Hear , What a racket!

  2. eretosthenes
    Nov 12 2019

    The NON-PROFIT INDUSTRY is the biggest feel-good extortion racket ever devised. If you are going to work in the conservation or social fields you need to do it for minimum wage. You are receiving Karma benefits to off-set any monetary income shortfalls.

  3. Aug 10 2019

    You need to understand that the Nature Conservancy operates on a July 1 – June 30 year. The organization then needs time for their accountants to complete the IRS Form 990. At the time the post was written, the most recent IFS Form 990 was used. Now (August, 2019), the most recent IRS Form 990 available is from July 1, 2017 – June 30, 2018. A summary of the executive compensation will be posted in a few weeks (suffice to say, the compensation is higher and the organization is still paying for first class travel for key employees).

  4. Peggy Schaffer
    Aug 10 2019

    So that was two years ago. What is it now

  5. Connie Holland
    Jun 13 2019

    If you can pay your ceos that amount of money, you don’t need my donation!

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