Joe Walston

Executive Vice President for Global Conservation

Role: CCI Council, Wildlife Conservation Society


Joe Walston is the Executive Vice President for Global Conservation, overseeing WCS’s portfolio of field-based programs across 60 countries, and WCS’s Five Global Thematic programs: Marine, Health, Forests & Climate Change, Rights & Communities, and Counter Wildlife Trafficking. The position also oversees the 200+ PhDs and policy staff driving the science and policy work underpinning WCS’s efforts across its global portfolio, as well as WCS’s presence in Europe. He was previously the Senior Vice President for Field Programs and, prior to that, the Director of Asia. Joe has spent 18 years living in South East Asia, the Congo Basin and Southern Africa before moving to New York in 2011.

Joe began with WCS in 1999 to help establish the WCS Cambodia Program and lead the first nationwide surveys of Cambodian forests since the Khmer Rouge, which resulted in him being awarded the country’s highest civilian honor. Joe has published on conservation effectiveness, the global future of conservation, forests and climate change, prioritization of investments and species strategies. Joe also has a specific interest in bats and, in 2012, a new species of tube-nosed bat was named Murina walstonii in recognition of his conservation efforts.