Next chapter: News from Wilburforce Foundation

by Desiree Pena

After almost 25 years at Wilburforce Foundation, Birch (Paul) Beaudet is retiring as Executive Director. In reflecting on his work at the foundation, Birch said: “When I started at Wilburforce in 1999, I never would’ve imagined I would spend the remainder of my professional life in one place. My time here has been filled with adventure, infused with purpose, and surrounded by people who care passionately about the mission, vision, values, and approaches that make Wilburforce so special to me. I intend to continue working in habitat restoration and conservation in a personal and volunteer capacity. This work is too important to me to ever stop.”   

Wilburforce Foundation is pleased to announce the selection of its new Executive Director, Lisa Weinstein. Lisa comes to this role deeply grounded in the mission and values of our foundation, having served for six years as our Program Officer for Science and Capacity. 

“I’m humbled and thrilled to support the Wilburforce team and our grantees as we continue to build a future where our irreplaceable wildlife and ecosystems thrive in harmony with human communities,” she said. 

Before joining the Wilburforce team, Lisa managed conservation grantmaking throughout the United States for the Turner Foundation. Earlier, she served as an assistant chief in Georgia’s Department of National Resources and taught environmental studies at a number of institutions. 

“I’m grateful for everything that Birch has done over more than two decades, and I’m excited to see Lisa build upon that work in the years ahead,” said Wilburforce founder Rose Letwin. 

As the Foundation approaches its 33rd year, partners and grantees can be reassured that its dedication will remain steadfast under Lisa’s leadership. The foundation is as committed as ever to the practices that have helped serve grantees pursuing ecological victories, under the guidance of its “Compass ROSE”: 

  • Relationships 
  • Organizational capacity 
  • Science; and 
  • Enduring support 

There is much to be done as organizations across western North America work to preserve and support wild places, the species that live there, and the human communities that share that space.  

Wilburforce board and staff are grateful for the opportunity to do this vital work in collaboration with grantees and partners, and look forward to doing more in our collective next chapters.