Holly Bamford to Join National Fish and Wildlife Foundation as Chief Conservation Officer

Washington, D.C., December 3, 2015 – The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) today announced that Dr. Holly Bamford, Ph.D., acting assistant secretary for conservation and management for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), will become its chief conservation officer.

Beginning Feb. 8, Bamford will be responsible for advancing the Foundation’s mission through the creation and implementation of a comprehensive conservation vision, strategy and a metrics-based evaluation system for NFWF’s grant-making programs.

Based in NFWF’s headquarters in Washington, D.C., Bamford will report directly to Jeff Trandahl, executive director and CEO of NFWF. In this newly created position, Bamford will serve an important role in creating and leading NFWF’s conservation strategy by setting national and regional cross-cutting strategies, and by leading design, development and fundraising planning for the conservation strategy, as well as guiding the conservation policies and practices of the Foundation.

“Dr. Holly Bamford brings to the position of chief conservation officer exceptional experience in both conservation science and programmatic management,” Trandahl said. “She is a strategic thinker who will guide our science and program teams to ensure that the Foundation is delivering the strongest possible outcomes for the hundreds of conservation investments we make across the nation each year.”

In her role within the U.S. Department of Commerce, Bamford drove administration policy, programming, and investments for NOAA’s ocean, coastal and fisheries management. Her responsibilities spanned coastal resilience, marine protected areas, protected species, sustainable fisheries and coastal services. Bamford worked closely with members of Congress, other agency leaders, partner organizations, and local communities to develop policies and take conservation actions to ensure coastal and ocean stewardship.

Previously, as assistant administrator for NOAA’s National Ocean Service (NOS), Bamford directed the federal agency that provides coastal and ocean science-based solutions to address evolving economic, environmental, and social pressures on our oceans and coasts. Prior to this appointment, she served as deputy assistant administrator for NOS, where she managed the financial and business operations while strategically improving the agency’s performance to meet its vast ocean science and service missions.

After Hurricane Sandy struck the East Coast in 2012, Bamford was named the incident commander for NOAA, and was responsible for all post-response actions such as overseeing agency response to oil spills, chemical spills, marine debris impacts, hydrographic surveys to open critical navigation ways and ports, and high-resolution aerial imagery to map shoreline changes. 

Among her accomplishments, Bamford has served as a catalyst for change in NOAA by leading the strategic merger of NOAA’s two largest coastal programs to create a unified coastal research, management and services program that supports coastal zone management and services for the nation.

Bamford has been published in more than 20 publications that have been widely referenced in the field of environmental chemistry and water quality, including papers in Environmental Science & Technology, Atmospheric Environment, Marine Pollution Bulletin, and Environmental Toxicology & Chemistry. 

Bamford earned a Ph.D. in the field of organic environmental chemistry at the University of Maryland, quantifying the physical and chemical processes that control the transport and fate of organic contaminants. She also spent a year as a guest researcher at the National Institute of Standards and Technology, developing analytical methods to detect trace organic contaminants in water and air particles.

About the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation

The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) protects and restores our nation’s wildlife and habitats. Chartered by Congress in 1984, NFWF directs public conservation dollars to the most pressing environmental needs and matches those investments with private contributions. NFWF works with government, nonprofit and corporate partners to find solutions for the most complex conservation challenges. Over the last three decades, NFWF has funded more than 4,000 organizations and committed more than $2.9 billion to conservation projects. Learn more at www.nfwf.org.



Rob Blumenthal, 202-857-0166