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July 24, 2022


Executive Compensation at the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) 2021

by Anne Paddock

The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) is considered by many to be the leading conservation organization in the world. Established nearly 60 years ago in 1960, the WWF is based in Washington, DC but operates all over the world (in more than 100 countries with 556 staff in 29 foreign offices and 95 at headquarters).

There are 25 voting members (directors) on the governing body (board of directors), 24 of whom are independent.  The Form 990 (2020) lists 27 board members (which appears to be due to timing differences), 18 (67%) of whom are male while 9 (33%) are female (note: the form 990 does not report gender identity. Conclusions were made based on name and google searches).

The most recent IRS Form 990 (2019) reports financial information about the organization for the year beginning July 1, 2020 and ending June 30, 2021 (hereafter referred to as 2021).

In 2021, WWF reported total revenue of $408 million which primarily came from contributions, gifts, and grants.

Expenses totaled $283 million with the largest expense reported to be compensation.  651 employees received $107 million in compensation which equates to an average compensation of $164,000.  286 employees received more than $100,000 in compensation with the 14 most highly compensated reported to be:

  • $1,127,575:  Carter Roberts, President and CEO
  • $  550,209:  Margaret Ackerley, SVP and General Counsel
  • $  535,754:  Nikhil Sekhran, Chief Conservation Officer
  • $  482,484:  Loren Mayor, Chief Operating Officer, part year
  • $  446,058:  Jason Clay, SVP, Markets and Food
  • $  434,960:  Julie Miller, SVP, Development
  • $  417,344:  Ginette Hemley, SVP, Wildlife Conservation
  • $  417,562:  Terrence Macko, SVP, Marketing and Communications
  • $  369,797:  Sheila Bonini, SVP, Private Sector Engagement
  • $  385,406:  Mike Pejcic, CFO
  • $  331,348:  Rebecca Shaw, SVP and Chief Scientist
  • $  324,742:  David McCauley, SVP, Policy & Gov’t Affairs
  • $  318,218:  Marcia Marsh, COO (part year)
  • $  240,264:  Leroy Wade, Controller

The 14 most highly compensated employees received $6 million in compensation.  8 of the 14 most highly compensated employees are male while 6 are female.

The most highly compensated employee was Carter Roberts who has received $5.5 million in compensation over the past five years:

  • 2021:  $1,127,575
  • 2020:  $1,093,349
  • 2019:  $  939,880
  • 2018:  $1,455,444
  • 2017:  $  953,130

WWF made gross up payments or provided tax indemnification. For specific information, see the Form 990, Schedule J, Part III, Supplemental Information.

An unspecified number of independent contractors received more than $100,000 in compensation. The 5 most highly compensated were reported to be:

  • $9,123,972:  PMG, Inc., of Hanover, MD for print product, mail
  • $1,248,192:  Sisk Fulfillment Service, of Federalsburg, MD for comm consulting
  • $1,224,770:  Accenture, of Washington, DC for tech consulting
  • $  931,302:  Infocision, of Akron, OH for marketing
  • $  689,052:  Blackbaud, of Atlanta, GA for CRM consulting

To read the IRS Form 990 (2020 for the year ending June 30, 2021), click here.

4 Comments Post a comment
  1. Robbie Morgese
    Mar 17 2023

    Why does the CEO receive such compensation as the other executives what service do they provide to the WWF that this kind of salary is needed.

  2. Chuckles
    Jan 29 2023

    This is sick!!! I was just about to donate to the wwf and I’m a teacher making 60k per year… How can this ceo sleep at night? No donations from me.

  3. Debra Kesecker
    Jan 18 2023

    If Carter Roberts would cut his salary and some of the executives, I wouldn’t have a problem donating. But you all are robbing these helpless animals!!!!

  4. Penny
    Jan 16 2023

    What percentage of a donation goes to helping the polar bears?

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