Jonathan Baillie

Executive Vice President & Chief Scientist at National Geographic Society

Jonathan Baillie

Jonathan Baillie

Executive Vice President & Chief Scientist at National Geographic Society

Biography

Jonathan Baillie is the Executive Vice President and Chief Scientist of the National Geographic Society. He oversees Grants, Impact Initiatives, National Geographic Labs, Explorer Programs and the International team.

Baillie joined the Society in 2016 after 20 years at the Zoological Society of London (ZSL), where he most recently served as Conservation Programmes Director, overseeing conservation projects focused on threatened species and their habitats in over 50 countries.

As a leader in conservation science, he has authored several key publications on the status and trends of the world’s species and ecosystems. He was instrumental in developing the Living Planet Index, Sampled Red List Index and Wildlife Picture Index. Early in his career, he worked with a network of 8,000 scientists to produce the first International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species using quantitative criteria to assess extinction risk. He also worked with the IUCN to produce the first list of the 100 most threatened animals, plants and fungi. In addition, he co-chaired the IUCN Regional Red List working group and the IUCN Special Survival Commission Pangolin Specialist Group.

Baillie led the ZLS team that founded the EDGE of Existence program, which focuses on Evolutionary Distinct and Globally Endangered (EDGE) species and supports young scientists around the world working to protect animals facing extinction. While at ZSL, he also founded the Conservation Technology Unit and the Business and Biodiversity Programme. In addition, Baillie co-led the first large-scale retail activism project to focus on ocean conservation, Selfridges Project Ocean.

Baillie helped initiate United for Wildlife, led by the Duke of Cambridge, a collaboration of seven of the most influential conservation organizations working to address illegal wildlife trade at scale. Under this collaboration, he led the development of the award-winning digital conservation leadership training platform, the Rhino Impact Investment, and the development of technology for nature.

Baillie is committed to engaging the next generation and has written a number of children’s books as well as co-founding a media animation company focused on communicating the diversity of life.

Baillie completed his undergraduate studies in geography at Queen’s University in Canada. He received a master’s degree in conservation biology from Yale University and a Ph.D. in biology from Silwood Park, Imperial College London. He has been a visiting professor of zoology at the University of Oxford since 2009.

Baillie’s extensive fieldwork includes understanding the persistence and vulnerability of island endemic birds in the Gulf of Guinea; conducting behavioral studies of desert baboons in Namibia; researching and monitoring western lowland gorillas in Gabon; and discovering evidence of EDGE species, such as the long-beaked echidna in the Cyclops Mountains in Indonesia.

Overview
RelSci Relationships

898

Number of Boards

2

Relationships
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President & Chief Operating Officer at National Geographic Society

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Chief Executive Officer at National Geographic Society

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Founder at The Rock Creek Group LP

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Head, Global Efforts at Wondery

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Chief Executive Officer at National Geographic Partners LLC

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Executive Director-Centers of Excellence at National Geographic Society

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Chief Administrative Officer & Deputy Chief Operating Officer at National Geographic Society

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Executive Vice President, General Counsel & Corporate Secretary at National Geographic Society

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Editor-in-Chief, National Geographic Kids Magazines & Digital at National Geographic Society

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Owner at National Geographic Society

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Jonathan Baillie
Executive Vice President & Chief Scientist at National Geographic Society
Education
Ph.D. in Biology

Imperial College London (officially The Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine) is a public research university located in London, England, specialising in science, engineering, medicine and business. A former constituent college of the federal University of London, it became fully independent on 9 July 2007, as part of the celebrations of its centenary.

Undergraduate Studies

Queen's University at Kingston (commonly shortened to Queen's University or Queen's) is a public research university located in Kingston, Ontario, Canada. Founded on 16 October 1841, the university predated the founding of Canada by 26 years. Queen's holds more than 1,400 hectares (3,500 acres) of land throughout Ontario and owns Herstmonceux Castle in East Sussex, England. Queen's is organized into ten undergraduate, graduate and professional faculties and schools. The Church of Scotland established Queen's College in 1841 with a royal charter from Queen Victoria. The first classes, intended to prepare students for the ministry, were held 7 March 1842 with 13 students and two professors. Queen's was the first university west of the maritime provinces to admit women, and to form a student government. In 1883, a women's college for medical education affiliated with Queen's University. In 1888, Queen's University began offering extension courses, becoming the first Canadian university to do so. In 1912, Queen's secularized and changed to its present legal name.

Master's in Conservation Biology

Yale University is an American private Ivy League research university located in New Haven, Connecticut. Founded in 1701 in the Colony of Connecticut, the university is the third-oldest institution of higher education in the United States.

Career History
Visiting Professor of Zoology
Prior

Oxford is a collegiate university, consisting of the central University and colleges. The central University is composed of academic departments and research centres, administrative departments, libraries and museums. The 38 colleges are self-governing and financially independent institutions, which are related to the central University in a federal system. There are also six permanent private halls, which were founded by different Christian denominations and which still retain their Christian character.

Executive Vice President & Chief Scientist
Tenure Unconfirmed

The National Geographic Society has been inspiring people to care about the planet since 1888. It is one of the largest nonprofit scientific and educational institutions in the world. Its interests include geography, archaeology and natural science, and the promotion of environmental and historical conservation.

Conservation Programmes Director
Prior

Zoological Society of London is a British private company located in London, with subsidiaries in the United Kingdom. The firm operates organization for promoting and conserving animals.

Boards & Committees
Co-Chair, National Red List Working Group
Prior

IUCN is a global environmental network that helps the world find pragmatic solutions to its most pressing environment and development challenges. Its work is focused on valuing and conserving nature, ensuring effective and equitable governance of its use, and deploying nature-based solutions to global challenges in climate, food, and development. IUCN also supports scientific research, manages field projects all over the world, and brings governments, NGOs, the UN, and companies together to develop policy, laws, and practice. It has more than 1,200 government and NGO members and almost 11,000 volunteer experts in some 160 countries. The organization is supported by over 1,000 staff in 45 offices and hundreds of partners in public, NGO, and private sectors around the world. IUCN was founded in 1948 and is headquartered in Gland, Switzerland.

Vice Chair, Committee for Research & Exploration
Tenure Unconfirmed

The National Geographic Society has been inspiring people to care about the planet since 1888. It is one of the largest nonprofit scientific and educational institutions in the world. Its interests include geography, archaeology and natural science, and the promotion of environmental and historical conservation.

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