Dr. Amanda Stanley Joins COMPASS as New Executive Director

Contact: Karen McLeod, COMPASS Interim Executive Director karen.mcleod@COMPASSscicomm.org, 541-231-9505

March 7, 2017 - Today, Michael Sutton, Chair of COMPASS’ Board of Directors, announced that Dr. Amanda Stanley will join COMPASS as its new Executive Director (ED) on May 15, 2017, following an extensive nationwide search. She will replace longtime ED Brooke Smith, who stepped down in December 2016.

Stanley comes to COMPASS from the Wilburforce Foundation, where she has served since 2011 as Program Officer for Conservation Science. She brings experience and savvy in science, strategy, and leadership, and a passion for COMPASS’ mission of empowering scientists to make a difference and engage effectively in the public discourse about the environment.

In 2014, Stanley organized a partnership with COMPASS to establish the Wilburforce Fellowship in Conservation Science, a pioneering yearlong program that provides leadership and communication training for scientists from academia, government, and NGOs. The fellowship is just one example of Amanda’s leadership—it is bold, visionary, and builds a community of practice where scientists engage with local communities, land managers, policymakers, and advocates to forge solutions to conservation challenges throughout western North America.

“I leapt at the opportunity to work with such a talented team and on such an important mission. While it was incredibly rewarding to work at a truly outstanding foundation like Wilburforce, I feel driven to play a more active role in the efforts to bridge the worlds of science and society. We face unprecedented challenges, but the energy and appetite for change has never been higher. I am excited beyond measure to be leading COMPASS in such a dynamic time,” said Stanley.
Dr. Jane Lubchenco, COMPASS co-founder and former Administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, said, “I am delighted to welcome Amanda to the team. In this post-truth era, her leadership is particularly timely. As I said in a recent editorial, I believe scientists can rise to this occasion with the boldness, energy, and creativity it demands. That is exactly what Amanda brings to the innovative COMPASS team. The hire of someone with expertise in terrestrial conservation reinforces COMPASS’ ongoing commitment to the broad intersections of environment and society, including the ocean, the land, water, air, and of course, people.”

“I’m thrilled that Amanda will come to COMPASS with a strong understanding of what we do, how we do it, and why we do it. Building on that foundation, COMPASS is poised to take the organization to the next level. I can’t wait to see where we go next!” added Dr. Dawn Wright, COMPASS Board member and Esri Chief Scientist.

Vikki Spruill, COMPASS co-founder, Board member, and President and CEO of the Council on Foundations, said, “At a time when we’re all considering how to strengthen the roles of science in a thriving democracy for the betterment of society and environment, Amanda will help COMPASS elevate our impact even further.”

For more on this leadership transition and what lies ahead for COMPASS, visit our blog. To download this announcement, click here.

COMPASS is a nonprofit, non-partisan organization that empowers scientists to engage effectively with society, leading to a more productive public discourse about people and the environment. Since 1999, COMPASS has trained thousands of scientists to be more effective communicators, and brokered hundreds of relationships for scientists with journalists, decision-makers, and others. We believe that when scientific knowledge and insights are at the table, emerging solutions will be more robust, and benefit both society and environment.

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