Who We Are
Doug served for 40 years in the U.S. National Park Service, 13 years as Superintendent for national parks and a training center. He has served on projects in China, Ecuador (Galapagos), Croatia, and East Africa. He served on the Executive Council of the Coalition of National Park Service Retirees.
Joel retired in 2011 as Deputy Chief for the U.S. National Forest System. He oversaw the strategic and national program leadership for the 193 million acre National System of forests and grasslands located in 42 states and Puerto Rico. His natural resource management emphasis areas include ecosystem management, engineering, forest management, rangeland management, lands, minerals, geology management, recreation, heritage, wilderness, wild-scenic rivers management, watersheds, fish, wildlife, air, and rare plants. Joel is a member of the National Association of Forest Service Retirees.
Michael Soukup, Ph.D.
Michael retired as the U.S. National Park Service Associate Director for Natural Resource Stewardship and Science. He was responsible for guiding the protection and compatible enjoyment of natural resources in the 390 units of the National Park System. He directed programs in air quality, water resources, geological resources, biological resources, environmental compliance, social science, and information management.
Destry is a former Presidential Appointee to the U.S. National Park Service and has over 30 years experience working in all facets of parks, recreation, wildlife and open space management through leadership positions in government, non-profit, and public interest institutions.
Teiko Saito has been actively involved in federal natural resource management with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for more than 25 years and in Equal Opportunity and Human Resource management for more than 15 years. Rising through the ranks to become the first Asian American Senior Executive Service (SES) employee in the Fish and Wildlife Service, Teiko’s career has spanned the breadth of the wildlife conservation programs in that agency, including the Endangered Species and National Wildlife Refuge System Programs, International Affairs, External Affairs, Human Resources and the Director’s Office. External Affairs (covering Legislative Affairs and Public Affairs for the agency). She also served as the Special Assistant to the Deputy Director of the Service.
Maria served for 39 years in a variety of ranger and superintendent positions in the US National Park Service in both parks and headquarters offices. Her expertise includes development and leadership of visitor services programs, NGO and partnership cultivation and organizational change. She has served on international projects in Georgia and Mongolia, and on numerous assignments in Russia, both pre- and post-retirement.
Marc retired from the U.S. National Park Service as Commissioner, National Parks of New York Harbor. He served in management positions in several national parks, maintained a focus on sustainability and opportunities for public education throughout his career, and served on many task forces and special initiatives.
Brett is Professor and Chairman of Clemson University’s Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management. He serves as Acting Director of the University’s Institute for Parks and has been a principal in its “Open Parks Grid” project. He has worked with East Africa countries to consult with their parks and tourism ministries, and most recently in India and Bhutan.
Mel retired in 2003 from a 30 year career as a planner, manager and administrator with the Government of the Province of British Columbia, mostly with BC Parks. Mr. Turner draws on his experience in all facets of recreation/conservation policy, planning and management to pursue opportunities as a senior consultant on selected international, national, provincial and regional projects involving policy, planning, management, design and liaison on protected area issues. He has served extensively throughout the Caribbean, including drafting the protected areas system plan for Grenada, and he currently serves as leadership for the Elders Council for Parks in British Colombia.
Over 29 years of Federal Service preparing and/or reviewing budget and planning documents for conservation and science agencies. Budget documents include budget requests to Congress, hearing testimony, hearing transcripts, responses to Congressional questions for the record, decision memoranda for the Secretary, funding recommendations to the Budget Director, requests for obligational authority, transfers, internal allocations, and program and financing schedules.
Todd Koenings - Executive Director, member of the Board of Directors
Todd worked for Conservation International for 7 years and the American Red Cross for 7 years. He has degrees in Economics and Natural Resource Management and Technology Management.
Letian Tang - Vice President for China
Letian worked for The Nature Conservancy China Program for 8 years, held management positions in private companies, and worked as an agronomist for 10 years at the Shanghai Animal and Plant Quarantine Bureau.