Audubon International Hires External Communications Coordinator

Audubon International is excited to announce it has hired Katie Hopkins as the new External Communications Coordinator. Katie joined the team on February 12, 2013.

In this role, Katie will work closely with the Executive Director and other Audubon International staff and Board members to develop, manage, and implement innovative communications strategies that advance the organization’s programs, stakeholder relations, long-term goals, and overall mission. She will serve as the primary point of contact for the media and other external audiences, educating a wide range of stakeholders about the benefits of Audubon International’s certification programs and the importance of responsible environmental action. Katie will also play a leading role in developing written outreach products and perform marketing and promotional campaigns on behalf of the organization.

“Audubon International works with a diversity of stakeholders, and effectively communicating the social and economic benefits of environmental stewardship is central to cultivating a multi-sector commitment to sustainability,” said Ryan Aylesworth, Audubon International’s Executive Director. “We are very excited to bring Katie’s professional background and interdisciplinary talents to bear on all our outreach goals and strategies. Among many other valuable functions, she will enhance the overall value of the programs we deliver by directly helping Audubon International members effectively communicate their many commendable accomplishments.”

Prior to joining Audubon International, Katie earned a Master of Public Affairs from Indiana University’s nationally-renowned School of Public and Environmental Affairs. Her graduate program included a concentration in Sustainable Development and Nonprofit Management. While at Indiana University, Katie served an instrumental role in launching a local business certification program to promote sustainable business practices and consumer empowerment in the community of Bloomington, Indiana. In her capstone project, she worked with a small team to compile a report for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service that examined the social and environmental issues surrounding off-road vehicle use on national wildlife refuges. The findings of this report are expected to be published in the journal Environmental Management later in 2013. As part of her degree program, Katie spent several months in Brazil interning for Imaflora, a nonprofit certifying body for the Forest Stewardship Council and the Sustainable Agriculture Network. There she became very familiar with the concept of certification and the ways in which economic incentives and market-based techniques can encourage adoption of sustainable natural resource management practices. Katie also has professional interests in the field of sustainable tourism, and she focused multiple graduate research projects on the topic, including an examination of the costs and benefits of the cruise industry for ports of call.

Before completing her master’s degree, Katie worked in a communications and marketing role for a travel company in her home state of Wisconsin. She has had a variety of professional experiences including an internship at The British Museum in London, an education facilitator position at The Central Wisconsin Children’s Museum, and a publicist role for The Thailand Project. In addition to her Master of Public Affairs degree, Katie earned a Bachelor of Arts in Arts Management and Theatre from University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point.

Katie enjoys traveling, outdoor recreation, attending art events, and scrapbooking. Having recently relocated to the Albany area from Wisconsin, she is excited to explore her new community and begin taking advantage of the many recreational and cultural experiences the region has to offer.

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