Josh Donlan | Founding director


Josh leads ACS by building interdisciplinary teams to tackle problems in novel ways. He founded ACS in 2006. Trained as a scientist, Josh holds a Ph.D. from Cornell University and an M.A. from University of California. He has worked on environmental and social issues in over a dozen countries, including the management of invasive species, environmental restoration, conservation finance, and market-based approaches to environmental conservation. Josh has published over 80 scientific and public articles on environmental topics, including those receiving widespread attention in the media. Josh served as the Chief Scientist for Project Isabela in Galápagos Islands, one of the world’s largest island restoration project. He also played a pivotal, early role in the NGO Island Conservation, whose mission is to prevent extinctions by removing invasive species from islands. He served as a key advisor to the Chilean and Argentinean governments on the restoration of Tierra del Fuego.

Josh has been recognized internationally for his contributions and innovations. He has held fellowships with the Fulbright Commission, Guggenheim Foundation, Alcoa Foundation, and the Copeland Fellowship in Global Sustainability at Amherst College. Josh is a Technical Expert for the United Nations Environment Programme—Convention on Migratory Species Secretariat, and co-chaired the committee for recommendations for the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity from the UNESCO International Year of Biodiversity Science Policy Conference in 2010. He has been invited to talk about biodiversity conservation and nature to over 50 audiences in sixteen countries over the past five years. 

His current interests are focused on discovering where entrepreneurship, design, and human behavioral change can intersect to create new ventures that improve the environment and the lives of people.

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Included in the New Yorker's 2013 Game Changers Issue


Finalist in the Marketplace on Innovative Financial Solutions for Development Competition, 2010


Cover story of Life Experience's 2009 Make it Sustainable Issue


Selected for The Best American Science and Nature Writing 2008


Highlighted in New York Times Magazine's Big Ideas of 2005


Named 25 of 2005 Saving the World by Outside Magazine