Following an extensive national search, Geri E. Unger has been named the new president of Hawk Mountain Sanctuary Association, a position she assumed on January 3.
The Sanctuary, founded in 1934, works to protect birds of prey globally.
Unger, who most recently served as the executive director for the Society for Conservation Biology in Washington, D.C. brings more than 25 years of experience in conservation and environmental science and education to the job.
"She has the perfect mix of leadership, programmatic, and fundraising skills," says Fred Beste, III, Hawk Mountain's board chair. “Geri understands our global mission, has international experience and vision, and embraces our unique blend of conservation science, conservation education, and public appreciation."
Unger first encountered Hawk Mountain as a high-school student from Cleveland, Ohio. Her experience at the Sanctuary launched her interest in natural resources protection through conservation science and education, as well as nonprofit management and organizational development.
Following her undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan, she moved to Jerusalem, Israel to attend Hebrew University, and after completing her master's degree in environmental biology, she worked there, first as an instructor in ecology and environmental science and later as the Co-Executive Director at the Jerusalem Science Center.
From 2008-2013, Unger was the Director of Education and Research at the Cleveland Botanical Garden.
Unger brings experience with scientific research and conservation education, staff development and mentoring, and organization development along with strong programming, fundraising, and administrative skills, Beste said.
The president is the Sanctuary's top-ranking position, responsible for effective, creative and productive mission-based programs. The president manages Sanctuary staff, programs, budget, fundraising and physical facilities.
Unger expressed her optimism for this opportunity: "It is my great pleasure to weave my experience into building Hawk Mountain Sanctuary and its mission to conserve birds of prey worldwide, by providing leadership in raptor conservation science and education, and by maintaining and enhancing Hawk Mountain Sanctuary as a model."
Unger replaces Dr. Keith Bildstein who served as interim president for the past eight months.For more information on the programs, initiatives and upcoming events, visit the Hawk Mountain Sanctuary Association website or call 610-756-6961.