Dr. M. Sanjayan, Ph.D.

Incoming CEO

Conservation International

M. Sanjayan is a global conservation scientist specializing in how nature preserves and enhances human life. He is currently executive vice president and senior scientist at Conservation International. Starting July 1, Sanjayan will become the second chief executive officer in the organization’s 30-year history.

Sanjayan joined CI in 2014 as executive vice president and senior scientist and has led several key divisions including Oceans, Science, Development, Brand and Communications and Strategic Priorities. He has also overseen CI’s use of virtual reality filmmaking, which includes Valen’s Reef and Under the Canopy, and has led CI’s critically acclaimed brand campaign, “Nature Is Speaking.”

“Humans are not separate from nature; we are part of it.”

Sanjayan holds a doctorate from the University of California, Santa Cruz, and his peer-reviewed scientific work has been published in journals including Science, Nature and Conservation Biology. He is a visiting researcher at UCLA and a distinguished professor of practice at Arizona State University.

Raised in Southeast Asia and Africa, Sanjayan’s unique background and expertise has attracted widespread media coverage. His appearances include “The Today Show,” “The Late Show with David Letterman,” “CBS This Morning” and “CBS Evening News,” and he has hosted and cohosted a range of documentaries for PBS, BBC, Discovery and Showtime. Currently he is the host of the University of California and Vox Media’s Climate Lab series.

Sanjayan is a Disneynature Ambassador, a Catto Fellow at the Aspen Institute and a member of National Geographic Society’s Explorers Council. He posts frequently from his expeditions at @msanjayan.

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