Executive Vice President, Strategic Initiatives
Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy
Chris Spence is Executive Vice President of Strategic Initiatives and Partnerships. In this role, Chris supports many of the organization's key partnerships and external relationships, as well as overseeing much of the organization's programmatic work such as our youth education activities and volunteers department.
Chris also has oversight of Conservancy strategy and works closely with the Conservancy's Board of Trustees. Finally, Chris directs the Institute at the Golden Gate, a Conservancy program focused on innovation in parks and on incubating new ways for parks to support communities and address major societal problems such as our health crisis and climate change.
Prior to joining the Parks Conservancy in 2012, Chris worked internationally and in the United States on sustainable development, conservation, climate change, and health policy. He has held leadership positions at non-profit organizations in New York, New Zealand, and California. He also consulted widely for the United Nations, IUCN-World Conservation Union, and the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD), and has undertaken assignments in more than 40 countries on five continents, focused in particular on climate change and sustainable development policy and practice and international law.
He has also served as a political advisor and journalist, and is an award-winning writer. Chris is the author or co-author of several books, including Global Warming: Personal Solutions for a Healthy Planet (Palgrave Macmillan, 2005). Chris has served on a number of boards and advisory groups over the years, and is currently on the Board of Directors of the George Wright Society and a member of IUCN’s World Protected Areas Commission. He holds MA (Hons) and BA degrees in History and Political Science from Victoria University.
Originally from the United Kingdom, Chris now lives in Marin County with his wife Nicole, their three young children, and their dog, Bingley. Together they enjoy walking and exploring the trails in the Marin Headlands and Mt. Tam. Chris is an avid soccer player and an ever-hopeful supporter of Liverpool Football Club.