Stuart Pimm

Stuart Pimm is the Doris Duke Professor of Conservation Ecology at Duke University’s Nicholas School of the Environment and founder and president of the non-profit Saving Nature.

Pimm is the author of over 270 scientific papers and four books. The Institute of Scientific Information has ranked him as one of the most highly cited environmental scientists for over a decade. He was awarded the 2019 International Cosmos Prize. The prize is widely viewed as one of the most prestigious honors presented in the environmental field.

The honor recognizes Pimm’s groundbreaking research on endangered species, as well as his work through his nonprofit organization Saving Nature to promote practical approaches to help slow or reverse species’ declines by protecting and restoring their shrinking habitats.

Past recipients of the Cosmos Prize include Jane Goodall, E.O. Wilson, Richard Dawkins and Sir David Attenborough, among other luminaries in the fields of conservation science and natural history.

His books include The Balance of Nature? and, in 2001, the acclaimed World According to Pimm: a Scientist Audits the Earth. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the recipient of the 2006 Heineken Prize for Environmental Sciences (from the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences), and the winner of the Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement in 2010.

Amita N. Vyas, PhD, MHS

Dr. Vyas is a professor at the George Washington University Milken Institute School of Public Health and Director of the Center of Excellence in Maternal and Child Health. She is also a Nonresident Senior Fellow with the Atlantic Council’s South Asia Center. At the age of 20, Amita journeyed to Calcutta, India to work alongside Mother Teresa in the Missionaries of Charity. In one eye-opening summer, she was immersed in the relationship between health, education, and social inequities affecting vulnerable populations. From that extraordinary experience, inspired by a simple desire to serve those in need, she decided to pursue a career in public health.

Dr. Vyas earned her doctorate in Population and Family Health Sciences from the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health. Today, her teaching and research focuses on women’s and adolescent health, and she has served as the Principal Investigator for countless research grants and teaching/mentoring awards. In 2007, Dr. Vyas founded the Global India Fund, a non-profit organization committed to giving people around the world an opportunity to make a difference through service and philanthropy. In 2015, Dr. Vyas joined the Girl Rising Campaign as a Producer and led its national campaign in India. She also served as Girl Rising Board Chair (2019-2020).

Terry Spahr

Terry Spahr is the Executive Director of Earth Overshoot, a nonprofit dedicated to making nature and its resources central to all personal and public decision-making through targeted education and advocacy. Spahr, a filmmaker, naturalist and environmental activist, is an expert on sustainability and the intersection of human consumption and population as the primary drivers of environmental destruction.

Spahr is the producer of the 2021 high production value feature length documentary, 8 Billion Angels, which establishes the connection between unsustainable population growth and our global environmental emergencies including climate change. Through compelling stories the film lifts the veil on a critical topic often purposely relegated to the shadows of our personal, political and international conversations.

Spahr is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania College of Arts & Sciences and The Fels Center of Government. He had a 25-year career in the insurance, investment and real estate industries and is a former board member of the Long & Foster Companies as well as their philanthropic arm. A sought after speaker, he has presented at numerous conferences and forums, spoken on radio and podcasts, and contributed to an array of environmental publications and blogs.

Chris Packham

Chris Packham is a naturalist, television presenter, writer, photographer, conservationist, campaigner and filmmaker. As a broadcaster he is a presenter of BBC’s BAAFTA Award winning Springwatch, Autumnwatch and Winterwatch series. He presents notable natural history series such as Nature’s Weirdest Events, World’s Weirdest Events, World’s Sneakiest Animals, Cats V Dogs, The Burrowers, Inside the Animal Mind, Operation Iceberg and Secrets of our Living Planet. He was featured in The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon (NBC – US) where he introduced Jimmy to a Porcupine and baby spotted Hyena, and sent a Black Vulture flying to him as he stood in the audience.

Photo credit Jo Charlesworth

Florence Blondel

Florence Blondel was born and raised in Uganda and holds a Masters in Science in Population & Development from the London School of Economics and Political Science. She is an award-winning journalist and digital storyteller in the areas of environment, health, science, and the rights of women and girls. She currently consults with the U.K. based Population Matters as an Outreach Coordinator, and is a member of Population Media Centre’s Program Advisory Board.