Russell A. Mittermeier

Board of Directors

Russell A. Mittermeier is currently Chief Conservation Officer of Re:wild.  Prior to this position, he served for three years as Executive Vice Chair at Conservation International and as President of that organization from 1989 to 2014. Mittermeier was born in New York City, grew up on Long Island, and received his doctorate in biological anthropology from Harvard in 1977. Since 1977, Mittermeier has served as Chairman of the IUCN Species Survival Commission Primate Specialist Group, and he has been a member of the Steering Committee of the Species Survival Commission since 1982.

Named a “Hero for the Planet” by TIME magazine, Mittermeier is regarded as a world leader in the field of biodiversity and tropical forest conservation. Trained as a primatologist and herpetologist, he has traveled widely in 169 countries on seven continents, and has conducted field work in more than 30 − focusing particularly on Amazonia (especially Brazil and Suriname), the Atlantic forest region of Brazil, and Madagascar. In addition, Mittermeier has placed considerable emphasis on publishing. His output now includes 38 books and more than 700 scientific and popular articles.

He has also been particularly interested in the discovery and description of species new to science, three of those being species of turtles. Russ has been with the TSA since its inception and was instrumental in supporting the group during its formative years. He also serves on the governing boards of both the IUCN–Tortoise and Freshwater Specialist Group and the Turtle Conservation Fund.