Leading Bird Conservation Group Names New President

Parr Brings Passion for Birds, Deep Experience to the Role

Contact: Jennifer Howard, Director of Public Relations, 202-888-7472

(Washington, D.C., May 15, 2017) Michael J. Parr will be the next President of American Bird Conservancy (ABC), the group announced today. Parr will be the second president in ABC's history. He succeeds George Fenwick, who has led ABC since founding the organization in 1994. Currently ABC's Chief Conservation Officer, Parr takes up his new duties June 1.

“I am thrilled that Mike will be ABC's next leader. His passion, vision, and courage are just what we need to continue and build on the outstanding work that ABC is doing,” said Larry Selzer, Chairman of ABC's Board of Directors. “No other bird conservation organization does as much, and no other leader is positioned as well to do the hard work of preventing bird extinctions, conserving their critical habitats, and building the capacity of local partners. The Board was unanimous, enthusiastic, and very optimistic."

Parr was chosen from a highly talented group of candidates. "In our search for the successor to ABC's founder and president, George Fenwick, we considered and met with many wonderful and inspiring conservation leaders,” said Warren Cooke, former Chairman of ABC's Board and the head of the committee that led the search. “In selecting Mike Parr, we are extremely pleased to have someone with a unique combination of vision, deep experience in bird conservation, and excellent leadership skills, as well as proven dedication to ABC's mission to bring back the birds in the Americas."

“It is an enormous honor for me to take on this important role,” said Parr. “Bird conservation is my personal mission in life. I have had a wonderful 20 years working with the great staff and Board at ABC already, and I am looking forward to helping lead the next chapter in the history of this remarkable organization. I'm grateful for the opportunity to build on the tremendous bird conservation legacy of ABC leaders George and Rita Fenwick.”

ABC's next president brings to his new role a lifelong devotion to wildlife conservation, a deep understanding of the threats facing birds in the Americas, and a genuine passion for ABC's mission, including its science-based, solutions-oriented approach.

Parr joined ABC in 1996 after graduating from the University of East Anglia and working for BirdLife International. He is the author or co-author of three books: Parrots: A Guide to the Parrots of the World, Important Bird Areas in the United States, and The American Bird Conservancy Guide to Bird Conservation, along with numerous articles and papers. An avid birder, Parr lives in Washington, D.C., with his family.

As President, Parr will take the helm of an organization that is financially sound, with a four-star rating from Charity Navigator, a staff of 78, and partnerships with like-minded groups throughout the Americas that deliver impressive conservation results for the hemisphere's threatened birds.


American Bird Conservancy is dedicated to conserving birds and their habitats throughout the Americas. With an emphasis on achieving results and working in partnership, we take on the greatest problems facing birds today, innovating and building on rapid advancements in science to halt extinctions, protect habitats, eliminate threats, and build capacity for bird conservation.

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