Rhett Butler

President and Founder, Mongabay

Rhett Butler founded Mongabay in 1999 with the mission of raising interest in and appreciation of wild lands and wildlife. For the first ten years of the project, he operated Mongabay on his own, publishing thousands of stories and tens of thousands of photos. During that time, Mongabay grew to become one of the most respected and most widely conservation sites on the Internet. Today Mongabay is a multinational environmental news non-profit, with over 150 staff and contributors from Indonesia to Central African Republic reporting on issues ranging from commodity supply chains to oceans. He also runs Tropical Conservation Science, an open-access academic journal that provides opportunities for scientists in developing countries to publish their research as well as the Tropical Forest Network, a platform that brings together academics, civil society members, and private sector participants around issues related to forests. Rhett has become a go-to expert on forests for media outlets, companies, and governments, increasing coverage of forests and brokering important conservation partnerships. He served as the Skoll Foundation’s forest advisor and in 2014 become the first journalist to win the prestigious Parker/Gentry Award for Conservation, an accolade traditionally given by the Field Museum to scientists.

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