Lou Ann Dietz,
President and Founding Director 

Lou Ann is an independent consultant in Building Capacity for Conservation Practitioners and serves as adjunct faculty member of the Graduate Program in Sustainable Development and Conservation Biology at the University of Maryland.

Lou Ann received her Ed.S. degree in Educational Systems Development from Michigan State University in 1981.  As an educator she has over 40 years of pioneering conservation field experience in Brazil (16 years as Senior Program Officer for Brazil at World Wildlife Fund), integrating applications of both social and biological sciences to develop solutions to complex conservation problems.  She has a proven track record as a successful manager of field projects, grant portfolios, and large-scale trans-border biodiversity conservation strategies, through the full cycle of situation analysis, design, funding, implementation, evaluation, sharing lessons, and adaptation.  She is known and respected as a compassionate professional with the ability to empower and mobilize communities, organizations, teams (international, national, community, government, non-government), and individuals, toward achievement of a common conservation goal. She has published many articles, book chapters, and educational materials on her conservation work, particularly in the design and evaluation of conservation programs targeting human behavior change.

Lou Ann began working for conservation of golden lion tamarins (GLTs) in Brazil in 1983 with a team of Smithsonian National Zoo biologists, Brazilian managers, and local community leaders in Rio de Janeiro state.  She developed a targeted community environmental education program which resulted in documented behavior changes and made the golden lion tamarin (GLT) a national symbol for conservation.  In 1992, she helped found the Associação Mico-Leão Dourado (AMLD), a Brazilian NGO, and continues, as an elected member of its Board of Directors, to guide the organization toward achievement of its goal of a viable population of golden lion tamarins in its Atlantic Coastal Forest habitat.  She also serves as an elected member of the International Committee for Conservation and Management of Lion Tamarins, an official advisory group to the Brazilian government.