“You may accumulate a vast amount of knowledge but it will be of far less value to you than a much smaller amount if you have not thought it over for yourself; because only through ordering what you know by comparing every truth with every other truth
can you take complete possession of your knowledge
and get it into your power."
- Arthur Schopenhauer
At EcoLeaders, we believe that knowledge generated from within has more power to create change than knowledge imposed from the outside. We see our role as helping you ask the right questions and shining a light in places you may not have looked before so you are supported in discovering the answers for yourself. Our processes center growth and development so that you build the capacities necessary to implement your plans.
Our network of partners brings diverse expertise in conservation, DEAI/community engagement, behavior change, and leadership coaching to bear for your organizational growth and learning.
Robin is passionate about facilitating transformative organizational change. She previously led the Vision, Innovation and Strategy team at San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance. Robin has extensive expertise and experience in guiding strategic planning processes, change management, leadership development, and strategy implementation. She is currently pursuing her doctorate in Nonprofit and Philanthropic Leadership at the University of San Diego. Robin also serves on the board of the San Diego Children's Discovery Museum and Sparrow Academy Charter School.
Dr. Allison Alberts, former Chief Conservation and Research Officer at the San Diego Zoo, is an executive leader with more than 30 years' experience saving endangered species. She specializes in strategic planning, capacity enhancement, and the design and implementation of field conservation programs. In 2015, Allison was honored with the Athena Pinnacle Award for excellence in recognition, promotion, and mentorship of women in the life sciences.
Michael is a consulting psychologist specializing in collaborative approaches to transformative growth in individuals, teams, and organizations. At the Center for Creative Leadership, Michael coaches high-performing teams from industry, non-profit, philanthropy, and government. As an Adjunct Professor at University of San Diego and Miramar College, he teaches models of leadership and group dynamics combining deep self-awareness with dynamic systems-awareness. Michael is certified through the Tavistock Institute for Human Relations and the A.K. Rice Institute for the Study of Social Systems.
Laura is an accomplished leader and founder of Leadby, with over two decades of experience in People Management, Organizational Culture, and Leadership Development. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Business Administration with a focus on Human Resource Management. Her diverse experience in for-profit and nonprofit organizations includes an 11-year tenure at Fresno Chaffee Zoo at the Chief People Officer, demonstrating her ability to navigate complexity and inspire teams. Laura excels at shaping inclusive and meaningful cultures, and as a certified Executive Coach, she partners with leaders to enhance their skills and foster deeper connections. Her enduring passion for activating productive cultures and commitment to empowering leaders defines her career. Laura's impact on leadership and organizational development is enduring and inspiring.
Heather Doggett brings 27 years of experience in nonprofit leadership with an extensive background in leading planning, DEIJ initiatives, revenue generation, conservation impact, and operations. As a member of executive and senior leadership teams, Heather has created actionable “living” strategic plans for nonprofits, conservation psychology strategies, audience impact measurement plans, and exhibit plans at complex and matrixed organizations. Heather brings a wealth of experience leading facilitated authentic community conversations around Mission, DEIJ and conservation behavior change. As the founder and chair of several strategic planning work groups, she is experienced in operationalizing mission-aligned strategies into organizational planning, program execution, and impact metrics. Heather’s experience led her to chair the national AZA Diversity Committee, instruct the AZA “Creating Successful Exhibits” course, and serve as a Fellow for the Institute for Policy Studies (a DC thinktank). She is the Founder and CEO of two Baltimore-based companies, Immerse Universe and Masterful Impact Consulting.
Dr. Don Moore, former Director, Oregon Zoo, and Associate Director, Smithsonian’s National Zoo, has led and created effective strategic- and master-plans for AZA-accredited zoos and aquariums, sanctuaries, and other conservation NGOs for over 40 years. He engages and inspires stakeholders in saving wild animals and wild places through conservation action on public and private lands throughout the world. Don has special expertise in creating trusted cultural institutions through his focus on human-animal safety and diversity, equity, inclusion, accessibility, and justice.
Dean Watanabe serves as Deputy Director for the San Diego Zoo. He holds a BA in Biology from Brigham Young University and a MA in Biology from Miami University. Previously, Dean worked as Chief Mission Officer for the Fresno Chaffee Zoo, bringing a strategic focus to the core mission elements of Education, Conservation, and Environmental & Social Justice. He has also held positions with the Wildlife Conservation Society’s New York Aquarium, the Phoenix Zoo, and Utah’s Hogle Zoo. Dean currently serves as the Diversity Committee Chair for the Association of Zoos & Aquariums.
Dr. Anna Young is the Director of Education Engagement at The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens, with over 20 years of zoo experience. Previously, she was a tenured professor at Otterbein University and Director of the Zoo and Conservation Science Program. Anna conducts international research in behavior, conservation, and education, applying evidence-based theory to practice. She has published over a dozen articles in peer-reviewed journals including Science, and received a Career Award from the Animal Behavior Society in 2020.