E.O. Wilson Biodiversity Foundation Names President

Foundation to Expand Worldwide Understanding of the Importance of Biodiversity

Chapel Hill, NC – July  10, 2012 – The E.O. Wilson Biodiversity Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting a worldwide understanding of the importance of biodiversity and the preservation of our biological heritage, today announced it has named Dr. Paula J. Ehrlich as the Foundation’s President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO).  Dr. Ehrlich, formerly President and CEO of the Drug Discovery Center of Innovation, will lead the Foundation’s operations and strategic development, including educational initiatives aimed at improving our global understanding of the nature and diversity of all life on Earth and why it must be conserved.

“We are thrilled to welcome Paula to the E.O. Wilson Biodiversity Foundation and are confident in her ability to advance our mission globally,” said Edward O. Wilson, University Professor Emeritus, Harvard University.  “Paula Ehrlich is the ideal CEO for the Foundation, a visionary with the right educational background, and an impressive record of accomplishment.”

As an accomplished pharmaceutical and non-profit leader, as well as an extensively published scientific executive and researcher with veterinary surgical, clinical, and research expertise, Dr. Ehrlich brings the level of leadership and diverse scientific experiences required to advance the Foundation’s mission to educate students and the general public on the importance of biodiversity. Under Dr. Ehrlich’s leadership, the Foundation will continue to build a strong groundwork for educational initiatives that pave the way for a new generation of enthusiastic explorers, environmental policy makers, and informed citizens who share the unwavering passion for nature of the scientist who inspired the creation of the Foundation, Edward O. Wilson.

“Dr. Ehrlich brings with her a remarkable track record of scientific and institutional leadership and joins the Foundation during a time of rapid growth,” said Morgan Ryan, President of Wilson Digital and Director of the E.O. Wilson’s Life on Earth digital textbook project. “Her notable achievements across diverse fields have made her the kind of visionary required to create a movement against the careless and unrecoverable destruction of our biological inheritance.”

Dr. Ehrlich has a Bachelor of Science degree in Zoology from Duke University, a Masters degree in Environmental Planning from the University of Virginia, a Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) from the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine, and a Doctorate of Philosophy (PhD) in Bone Physiology from the Royal Veterinary College, University College London.  She is a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Surgeons.  Dr. Ehrlich will be based in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.


The mission of the E.O. Wilson Biodiversity Foundation is to promote worldwide understanding of the importance of biodiversity and of the preservation of our biological heritage. Among our projects is the development of educational materials in life science for high school and undergraduate students and the general public that will improve global understanding of the nature and diversity of all of life on Earth and why it must be conserved. The Foundation’s work is shaped by the inspiration and guidance of Edward O. Wilson, scientist, teacher, and writer. We welcome collaboration with those who share his vision and sense of urgency about humanity’s role in shaping its environment and its future.

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