Mary Klein has been an active proponent for the conservation of species and ecosystems for more than 20 years. The founding chair of NatureServe’s first board of directors during its spinoff from The Nature Conservancy, she has the distinction of having served in executive positions at the state, regional, national and international levels within the NatureServe network. As president and CEO since January 2006, Mary has led NatureServe's transformation into a more focused and collaborative organization.
From 2000 to 2005, Mary held the position of NatureServe's vice president of network operations, coordinating efforts with member programs in all 50 states and across much of Canada and Latin America. She also directed major fundraising campaigns, supervised field research on at-risk species and ecosystems, led international programs including responsibility for NatureServe’s work with the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity, and worked to continually improve the products and services NatureServe develops in cooperation with its many partners.
In the 1980s and 1990s, Mary served at the state level as the Director of the Colorado and Montana Natural Heritage Programs where she shepherded both organizations through major institutional transitions and was appointed Adjunct Professor at Colorado State University. For 10 years Mary also worked in The Nature Conservancy’s Western Region, starting and supporting natural heritage programs and conservation data centers, developing cooperative partnerships with multiple federal agencies, and overseeing information technology infrastructure and systems planning in 14 western states and Canadian provinces.
In addition to her work at NatureServe, Mary serves on the Yale Climate Adaptation Science Panel, the Scientific Advisory Board for the Strategic Environmental Research and Development Program, the University of Florida’s Advisory Council for the Dept. of Wildlife Ecology and Conservation, the IUCN Red List Partnership, the governing board of the Global Biodiversity Information Facility, and the Teaming With Wildlife Committee of the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies, among others. She also serves as an Environmental Liaison to Rachel’s Network, and as an Advisor to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Wildlife TRACS initiative.