Society Staff



Dr. Debborah Luke
Executive Director

202-234-4133 (ext. 7102)

Debborah (Debi) Luke joined SCB in 2017 and has an extensive executive-level background working in a membership services organization and more than 20 years of conservation science, research, and program development and management experience.  She holds a Ph.D. in Cognitive Neuroscience and Psychology from the University of South Florida where her research focused on manatee sensory biology. Debi launched the Manatee Care and Research Department while working at the Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium in Florida and obtained the first John H. Prescott Grant for the Hawaiian Islands while serving as Director of Education and Research at Sea Life Park in Hawaii.  Most recently, Debi served as the Senior Vice President of Conservation and Science for the Association of Zoos and Aquariums as where she was instrumental in initiating SAFE: Saving Animals from Extinction, a collaborative science-based conservation program that helps AZA members increase their direct involvement in conservation efforts. 

Warren Sander

Chief Financial Officer 

202-234-4133 (ext. 7109)

Warren’s experience extends through both the non-profit and for-profit spheres, encompassing both community-based and international perspectives. Having held senior management positions in banking and higher education, he has most recently served as the CFO of a private non-profit university in Virginia. He earned his MBA from the College of William and Mary, holds a BA in Political Science/International Studies, and has studied extensively in South Korea and mainland China.

Shonda Gilliland Foster
David H. Smith Conservation
Research Fellowship Program Director
202-234-4133 (ext. 7101)

Shonda has coordinated the David H. Smith Conservation Research Fellowship Program since its move to the Society for Conservation Biology in 2005. She is a graduate of the Sustainable Development and Conservation Biology Master’s program at the University of Maryland, College Park, where her research focused on the valuation of ecosystem services provided by the U.S. National Wildlife Refuge System. Originally from Michigan, Shonda received her BA in Social Relations and Political Theory from Michigan State University and then followed that with two years in the congressional office of U.S. Senator Carl Levin before pursuing her graduate studies. 

Nathan Spillman
Director of Member Services
202-234-4133 (ext. 7114)

Nate joined SCB in August 2011. Prior associations-related experience includes work for the NAACP and the Community Associations Institute.

Melinda Colón
Director of Conferences and Events

202-234-4133 (ext. 7110)

Melinda is a Certified Meeting Professional with more than 17 years of experience in national association management. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and certifications from the Convention Industry Council, George Washington University and the American Society of Association Executives. She is an active member of the Professional Convention Management Association and volunteers in the Washington, DC community.


Leanna Jackson
Director of Philanthropy

202-234-4133 (ext. 7105)



Leanna is experienced in strategically developing and advancing development plans, training and engaging fundraising volunteers within organizations, and in securing new funding streams. She has US and international non-profit experience and has raised more than $54 million over the course of her career. Leanna earned a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from USF and has received the Manatee County Chamber of Commerce Chairman’s Award and a United Way Executive Special Recognition Award.

Danielle Carter
Membership Services Manager

202-234-4133 (ext. 7107)

Danielle is a native Washingtonian who has a deep passion for building sustainable relationships. With an extensive history in D.C. based nonprofits and diverse background including mass communications and member relations, she extends her unique skill set in member engagement, recruitment and retention to the Society for Conservation Biology.

Sarah Weber

Communications and Marketing Manager

202-234-4133 (ext. 7012)

Sarah is an experienced environmental communications professional, coming from a journalism background but with a graduate degree in Environmental Conservation from the University of Wisconsin-Madison's Nelson Institute. Before joining SCB, Sarah worked in communications at the International Crane Foundation (ICF), World Resources Institute (WRI) and The Nature Conservancy (TNC). She is an active yoga practitioner and spends most of her free time with her three dogs.


Kathleen Munger
Membership and Communications Project Assistant

202-234-4133 (ext. 7108)




Kathleen graduated from the University of Maryland with a BA in government and politics, a minor in international development and conflict management, and a global fellowship in science diplomacy. Before joining SCB she interned at the World Wildlife Fund and the Environmental Protection Agency. Kathleen has studied, volunteered and worked in many countries, including the United Kingdom, Honduras, Hungary and Myanmar. Most recently, she led adventure and community service trips for high school students in Fiji.

Miriam Hernandez
Administrative and Financial Assistant

202-234-4133 (ext. 7106)

Miriam graduated from the University of Maryland with a degree in Agricultural & Resource Economics and has experience with general administration and front-end financial management. Before joining SCB, she interned with the National Archives in College Park, working with land preservation and conservation. She is also fluent in Spanish, and in her spare time loves to go hiking, kayaking and dancing.


Mark Burgman
Conservation Biology



Mark A. Burgman is Director of the Centre of Excellence for Biosecurity Risk Analysis in Australia and the Adrienne Clarke Chair of Botany at the University of Melbourne. His research is in ecological modelling, conservation biology, biosecurity and risk assessment. He has worked on models for a broad range of species and regulatory settings including marine fisheries, forestry, irrigation, electrical power utilities, mining, and national park planning.  He received a BSc from the University of New South Wales (1974), an MSc from Macquarie University, Sydney (1981), and a Ph.D. from the State University of New York (1987). He worked as a consultant ecologist and research scientist in Australia, the United States and Switzerland during the 1980’s before joining the University of Melbourne in 1990. He was elected to the Australian Academy of Science and was awarded the Distinguished Service Award from the Society for Conservation Biology in 2006.

Ellen Main
Senior Editor 
Conservation Biology

202-234-4133 (ext. 308)

Ellen Main has worked on Conservation Biology since 1993 as editorial assistant, managing editor, and currently as senior editor. She has a BS in Biology and an MS in scientific communications. Her previous experiences include work on an oceanographic book series, a science-education magazine, and an extracurricular science education program. She works out of her home in Florida.

Frith Jarrad
Managing Editor 
Conservation Biology


Frith C. Jarrad joined SCB as Managing Editor in late 2013. Frith has held academic research positions in the fields of conservation biology and ecology at the School of Botany, the University of Melbourne, and the School of Mathematical Sciences, the Queensland University of Technology. She received Bachelor degrees in Science and Forest Science with Honours (2001) and PhD (2009) from the University of Melbourne. Frith is based in Melbourne, Australia.



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