James Danoff-Burg is a global leader in conservation, education and strategy. He is a field-based researcher dedicated to finding science-based conservation and education solutions. He is the director of conservation at The Living Desert Zoo and Botanical Gardens in Palm Desert, CA. He also directs Helping Rhinos USA, is a conservation psychologist teacher at California State University San Marcos and co-director of Pathways Collaborative with Nette Pletcher.
Danoff-Burg helps conservation programs expand to enhance pro-environmental action and ecological harmony. He is dedicated to finding creative science-based conservation and education solutions for conservation programs committed to improving and safeguarding our world.
Integral to all of his efforts is his deep commitment to inspiring hope for the future. His 20 years of experience in strategic planning, evaluation, community-based conservation education, biodiversity research, curriculum creation and public outreach have positioned him as a global leader in conservation, education and strategy. He has advised conservation and education strategy in projects for the governments of countries as diverse as Cambodia, Mexico, Japan, the Dominican Republic and India.
Danoff-Burg earned a bachelor's degree from the University of Michigan and a master's and Ph.D. in biology from the University of Kansas. He accepted postdoctoral positions at the University of Vermont and at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City. Subsequently, he was a researcher and educator at Columbia University for 14 years, director of the Conservation Education Division at the San Diego Zoo for 3 years and a consultant for 6 years before joining The Living Desert. Danoff-Burg is fluent in Spanish, conversant in Portuguese and has functional speaking abilities in German and French.