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September 28, 2019

Executive Compensation at the Nature Conservancy (2018)

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 2017 IRS Form 990 for the year ending June 30, 2018) reports the organization raised $1.2 billion (an increase of $200 million from the year before) and spent $900 million. The difference between revenue raised and revenue spent was nearly $300 million which along with nearly $100 million in net unrealized gains on investments helped increase net fund assets from $6.2 billion at the beginning of the year to $6.6 billion at the end of the year. Many people see the Nature Conservancy as an organization that raises nearly a billion dollars a year and therefore has high staff costs. 4,099 persons were employed during the 2017-2018 year (an increase of 224 from two year ago) with total staff costs reported to be $399.4 million which equates to an average compensation package of $97,400 per employee (compared to $91,000 per employee two years ago).  $14 million was paid to the following 35 staff:

  • $818,838:  Mark R Tercek, Director, President and CEO
  • $785,410:  Stephen C Howell, Chief Financial and Administrative Officer (Former)
  • $697,759:  Jim Asp, Chief Development Officer
  • $639,683:  Brian McPeek, Chief Conservation Officer
  • $572,150:  Charles Bedford, Regional Director
  • $475,501:  Mark Burget, EVP and Regional Director
  • $474,000:  Joseph C Keenan, Managing Director
  • $429,523:  Seema Paul, Managing Director
  • $413,593:  Wisla Heneghan, Chief Operating Officer and General Counsel
  • $407,822:  Glenn Prickett, Chief External Affairs Officer
  • $393,683:  Thomas Nelses, VP and Associate Chief Development Officer
  • $391,257:  Justin Adams, Global Managing Director, Lands
  • $388,785:  William Ginn, EVP, Global Conservation Initiatives
  • $385,308:  Marianne Kleiberg, Regional Managing Director
  • $376,032:  Hugh Possingham, Chief Scientist
  • $364,237:  Maria Damanaki, Global Managing Director, Oceans
  • $358,308:  Jan R Mittan, Chief Philanthropy Officer, New York
  • $354,797:  Gullio Boccaletti, Chief Strategy Officer and Global Managing Director
  • $343,994:  William Ulfelder, New York Executive Director
  • $339,415:  Michael Sweeney, State Director
  • $335,583:  Heather Tallis, Chief Scientist/Strategy Innovation
  • $330,844:  Dietmar Grimm, Managing Director
  • $325,082:  Santiago Gowland, Executive Vice President
  • $323,977  Pascal Mittermaier, Managing Director
  • $322,903:  David Banks, Regional Managing Director
  • $318,334:  Aurello Ramos, Regional Managing Director
  • $315,072:  Michael Tetreault, Chief People Officer
  • $312,854:  Janine Wilkin, Chief of Staff and Acting Chief Marketing Officer (Former)
  • $308,553:  Peter Wheeler, Vice President
  • $296,638:  R Geoffrey Rochester, Director Marketing
  • $293,609:  Lynne Scarlett, Co-Chief External Affairs Officer
  • $280,250:  Angela Sosdian, Director Development & Gift Planning
  • $277,228:  Robert McKim, Division Director
  • $269,435:  Addison Dana, VP and Chief Investment Officer
  • $256,206:  Karen Berky, Division Director

As listed above, 24 of the most highly compensated employees – or 69% – are male while 11 – or 31% – are female.  Of the ten most highly compensated employees, 8 – or 80% – are men – and 2 are women.  Of the ten on the bottom of the list of the 35 most highly compensated employees, 5 are men and 5 are women.  The bottom line is that there are more than twice 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 $23.1 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.

A severance payment in the amount of $193,800 was paid to the former chief Financial Administrative Officer, Stephen C Howell.

To read the IRS Form 990 (2017), click here.

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