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National Audubon Society Names Julie Wraithmell as Audubon Florida’s Next Executive Director

Twenty-year conservation veteran to lead Florida’s most influential conservation organization

For Immediate Release – May 3, 2018
Contact: Sean Cooley, Florida Communications Manager, (850) 999-1030,
Attachment: Julie Wraithmell Headshot

NEW YORK – Today, the National Audubon Society announced the appointment of respected Florida conservation leader Julie Wraithmell as executive director of Audubon Florida and the newest vice president at the National Audubon Society. Wraithmell’s appointment follows a five-month stint as interim executive director while Audubon undertook a nationwide search for the role. As head of Audubon Florida, Wraithmell will oversee Florida’s five conservation priorities including water, coastal conservation, restoring America’s Everglades, climate change, and wildlife and wildlands.
“Julie is what’s best about Audubon. She uses science to guide decisions; she is highly collaborative and is driven every day to make a conservation difference. This also is why she is widely recognized all over the Sunshine State as a top conservation expert. We are excited to have her lead Audubon’s important work in Florida and to take that work to the next level,” said David O’Neill, National Audubon Society’s chief conservation officer. “Florida faces unique conservation opportunities and challenges with its vast coastline, the one of a kind treasure of America’s Everglades, and 69 distinct ecosystems. Julie's track record demonstrates she significantly moves the needle for conservation, and we are thrilled she will continue to do so in Florida in this new leadership role.”

Joining Audubon in 2005, Wraithmell has successfully led statewide conservation and wildlife policy initiatives, built Audubon Florida's robust coastal conservation program, coordinated Audubon's response to the Deepwater Horizon disaster, and helped secure millions in funding for protecting Florida’s land and water resources. In 2015, she received the Callison Award, National Audubon Society's highest staff honor. Prior to Audubon, Wraithmell served eight years as a biologist at the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC). At FWC, she created the Great Florida Birding and Wildlife Trail, an incredible Florida network of more than 500 premier wildlife viewing sites. Wraithmell has a Bachelor of Science in biology from Duke University and a Master of Science from Florida State University.

“On behalf of the Board, staff, and thousands of Audubon members in Florida, we are extremely excited to welcome Julie in her new role as executive director,” said Jud Laird, chair of Audubon Florida. “Audubon is Florida’s oldest conservation organization, and I believe Florida’s wildlife and wildlands are fortunate to have Julie at the helm of the state’s most effective conservation organization.”

"I grew up in Central Florida and consider Florida my lifelong home. This state and its wildlife are deeply ingrained in who I am," said Julie Wraithmell, incoming executive director for Audubon Florida. "I am honored to have the opportunity to work for Florida's natural resources every day, with the most dedicated and effective network of staff, volunteers, and chapters in Florida."

Wraithmell succeeds Eric Draper, who was tapped in November 2017 to lead the Florida Park Service.
Download: Julie Wraithmell Headshot
About National Audubon Society: The National Audubon Society protects birds and the places they need, today and tomorrow, throughout the Americas using science, advocacy, education and on-the-ground conservation. Audubon's state programs, nature centers, chapters and partners have an unparalleled wingspan that reaches millions of people each year to inform, inspire and unite diverse communities in conservation action. Since 1905, Audubon's vision has been a world in which people and wildlife thrive. Audubon is a nonprofit conservation organization. Learn more how to help at and follow us on Twitter and Instagram at @audubonsociety.

About Audubon Florida: Audubon Florida is the state office of the National Audubon Society and is Florida's oldest conservation organization. In addition to more than 70 dedicated science, policy, and education staff in Florida, Audubon also has 45 vibrant grassroots chapters around the state. For more than a century, Audubon Florida has encouraged people to take care of the places that make Florida special. Using science to guide its work and birdlife to measure ecosystem health, Audubon works to protect land, water, and wildlife. Today, Audubon is Florida’s most influential conservation organization and leads efforts to preserve America’s Everglades, coastal bird habitats, and other special places. Audubon manages sanctuaries that cover thousands of acres along with two popular nature centers. Audubon also promotes stewardship and appreciation of public land and water so people may always experience and cherish Florida’s natural beauty.

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