Nonprofits/Philanthropy: M. SANJAYAN
CEO, CONSERVATION INTERNATIONAL, ARLINGTON COUNTY
Too often, Sanjayan says, climate change is discussed as a far-off, abstract threat punctuated by thresholds, targets and tipping points.
That’s not enough to spark collective action, Conservation International’s CEO says, but there is something that can move the needle: “Storytelling — with characters, scenes, conflicts — that’s how you make the threat feel tangible and create a sense of urgency.”
Sanjayan, a conservation scientist with a doctorate from the University of California-Santa Cruz, is telling that story as host of the new PBS series “Changing Planet,” a seven-year effort to monitor climate change in six locations around the world while emphasizing local voices.
A frequent source for TV and print media, Sanjayan has hosted documentaries for the BBC and National Geographic, as well as the Climate Lab series for the University of California and Vox Media on YouTube.
Sanjayan was lead scientist for The Nature Conservancy before joining Conservation International in 2014 as executive vice president. He was named CEO in 2017.
SOMETHING I WOULD NEVER DO AGAIN: There are few things more humbling than getting charged by an elephant.
FAVORITE SONG: “Reason to Believe,” by Bruce Springsteen