February 2023 Edition | Volume 77, Issue 2
Published since 1946
Leo Miranda Hired as the Executive Director for the Conservation Without Conflict Coalition
On behalf of the Executive Committee of the Conservation Without Conflict Coalition, the Wildlife Management Institute is pleased to announce the selection of Leopoldo “Leo” Miranda-Castro as the Coalition’s new Executive Director. Leo recently retired from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service where he served as the Regional Director in the Southeast Region. Leo has a Bachelor of Science in Marine Biology from the University of Puerto Rico and a Master of Science in Zoology from North Carolina State University.
As the Regional Director, Leo oversaw the work of staff in carrying out the Service’s partnership role in conserving fish, wildlife, and plant resources and their habitats within 10 southeastern states, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. He is a strong advocate of public-private conservation partnerships and has demonstrated numerous successes within the shade-grown coffee industry, sustainable timber production on private lands, and protecting military base buffer zones in conservation as examples of how to achieve real “win/win” outcomes for people and for wildlife.
Leo embraces a collaborative approach to conservation, along with appropriate and effective incentives that recognize the benefits landowners provide to America’s fish and wildlife and has been implementing this non-regulatory, voluntary collaborative approach throughout the Southeast for many years. As a result, he has seen hundreds of wildlife successes through conservation and recovery actions. He embraces the collaboration that promotes an essential balance of mutual gain among partners, which is more successful in providing conservation at the scales needed to make a difference on the ground. Leo has a proven track record of collaborating with a wide variety of partners and stakeholders to achieve common conservation goals for at-risk and listed species.
As Executive Director, he will work with all members of the Conservation Without Conflict Coalition to advance collaborative approaches to conservation that avoid or minimize conflicts through voluntary approaches to conservation that keep working lands working and conserve species. In this role, he will help refine and implement the Coalition’s priorities; guide the efforts on the ground to ensure the Conservation Without Conflict approach becomes the norm across the country; foster partnerships among state and federal agencies, landowners, environmental organizations, industry, and stakeholders; track accomplishments; and communicate successes to members of the Coalition and key audiences. The Wildlife Management Institute will continue to serve as the administrator of the Executive Director position and will employ Leo as a WMI contractor.
Steve Williams, President of WMI, stated, “This is a unique opportunity that will enhance the Coalition’s current efforts to deliver collaborative conservation across all American landscapes. Leo’s education, experience, and commitment to the conservation of species while maintaining working lands will ensure that the Conservation Without Conflict Coalition approach to conservation will become the standard approach for the future of conservation. WMI is excited to play a role in that effort.”
Leo will be joining the Coalition in his official capacity in mid-February.