Jeffrey A. McNeely spent 30 years at IUCN working on international conservation issues before retiring as Chief Scientist in 2009, having worked in over 85 countries. Prior to joining IUCN, he spent 12 years in Asia, including 7 years in Thailand, 2 years in Nepal, and 3 years in Indonesia. He started as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Thailand working in water resources development for rural schools, then worked with FAO on linking conservation with the development of the water resources of the Lower Mekong Basin. He led the WWF-IUCN Indonesia Programme from 1977 to 1980, overseeing some 35 projects aimed at supporting Indonesia’s efforts to develop a national system of protected areas that would support development objectives.
He is now a Member of the UNEP International Resource Panel (currently on the Water Working Group), Chair of the IUCN Red List Committee, A.D. White Professor at Large at Cornell University, Member of the Board of EcoAgriculture Partners (of which he was co-founder), Member of the International Risk Governance Council, Science Patron of Earthwatch Europe, and Member of the Order of the Golden Ark. He provides consultancy services to international agencies, governments, non-governmental organizations, and the private sector. He has written or edited over 40 books and published some 500 scientific and popular articles. He is currently working to link biodiversity to sustainable agriculture, human health, biotechnology, climate change, energy, and more traditional conservation fields such as species, protected areas, ecosystems, and economics.