After a nationwide search and interview process, Audubon International’s Board of Directors has named Ryan Aylesworth as the new executive director for the environmental education organization. As Executive Director, Ryan will be responsible for supervising and guiding the overall operations of the organization, including the management, growth and development of the programs and activities, as well as the operations of internal support services. In addition to assuming responsibility for overseeing the day-to-day administration, budget, human resources and business operations of the organization, the Executive Director plays a leading role in the creation and implementation of all service standards and processes, outreach and education efforts, and special initiatives.
Prior to joining the Audubon International team, Ryan was the Intergovernmental Affairs Liaison for the Midwest Region of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. In this capacity, which he served in for approximately three-and-a-half years, Ryan was responsible for many functions, including: planning, coordinating and implementing congressional outreach activities for the Service in the Midwest Region; monitoring, analyzing and reporting on relevant federal and state legislative developments; preparing members of the Service’s leadership to deliver congressional testimony; advising the Service’s regional/national leadership on policy issues; representing the Service on multiple interagency groups comprised of federal, state, and nongovernmental natural resource organizations, and; serving as a senior staff member of the Service’s regional public affairs team that engaged the news media and the public-at-large.
Ryan is also currently a PhD candidate in Natural Resources Science and Management (NRSM) at the University of Minnesota. Ryan’s interdisciplinary doctoral research program has tackled questions at the nexus of environmental, sociopolitical and institutional systems. More specifically, his research examines the role of interagency collaboration and the efficacy of institutional arrangements governing natural resources in the Mississippi River Basin (MRB), with a primary focus on the role and importance of various policy dimensions and factors influencing interagency collaboration. The primary purpose of the research is to inform practice and generate findings of applied value to decision-makers, natural resource managers, and other stakeholders in the MRB while adding to the literature on collaboration, ecosystem governance, public policy and organizational development. Ryan intends to complete his dissertation and conduct a final defense in the fall of 2012 before publishing on his research in the spring or summer of 2013.
Ryan holds a Master of Public Policy and Administration from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, and a Bachelors of Science in Natural Resources from Cornell University. He is originally from northwestern Maine, but now resides in western Massachusetts with his wife and their two dogs. In addition to serving as a volunteer member on his local conservation commission, in his free time Ryan enjoys fly-fishing, upland bird hunting, golf, and cooking.