MEMPHIS, Tenn. - Nov. 11, 2021 - U.S. Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland recently appointed Ducks Unlimited (DU) Chief Conservation Officer Dr. Karen Waldrop to the North American Wetlands Conservation Council (NAWCC) and the Neotropical Migratory Bird Conservation Act Advisory Group (NMBCAG).

Before joining DU's senior leadership team, Waldrop served as Deputy Commissioner for the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources (KDFWR). She also gained years of professional experience with waterfowl and migratory bird conservation while serving as Kentucky's representative to the Mississippi Flyway Council. In addition, she oversaw the coordination and development of wetland complexes in Kentucky's premier waterfowl management areas. Waldrop also served as an Executive Council member of the North American Bird Conservation Initiative.

"I am honored and humbled to be appointed to such a prestigious group," Waldrop said. "The important work this council conducts guides and recommends how critical funding for wetlands and waterfowl conservation is leveraged across the U.S. These projects are vital to sustaining waterfowl and migratory bird populations."

Waldrop serves as a strategic leader and member of DU's senior leadership team. She also leads a national/regional department with approximately 215 employees. In addition, Waldrop oversees a conservation program operating budget of more than $100 million.

"Karen leads and directs our conservation team that continues to drive DU's successful mission of delivering on-the-ground wetlands habitat work," said DU CEO Adam Putnam. "To date, DU has conserved more than 15 million acres across North America, and we are not slowing down. Thanks to Karen and her team of conservation professionals, along with DU's staunch volunteers, supporters and partners, Ducks Unlimited is the world's foremost leader in wetlands and waterfowl conservation."

The NAWCC meets three times a year to review and select grant proposals they later present to the Migratory Bird Conservation Commission for funding approval. The council also develops policy affecting the grant application and administration processes.

In 2006, to help administer the Neotropical Migratory Bird Conservation Act, the Secretary of the Interior convened the NMBCAG from members of public and private organizations actively involved in conserving neotropical migratory birds. Members represent the United States, Mexico and Central and South American nations.

The group meets at least once a year, in conjunction with a NAWACC meeting, to make recommendations to the Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on the direction of the program.


Ducks Unlimited Inc. is the world's largest nonprofit organization dedicated to conserving North America's continually disappearing waterfowl habitats. Established in 1937, Ducks Unlimited has conserved more than 15 million acres thanks to contributions from more than a million supporters across the continent. Guided by science and dedicated to program efficiency, DU works toward the vision of wetlands sufficient to fill the skies with waterfowl today, tomorrow and forever. For more information on our work, visit


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