Senior Director, Asia Programs
Jon has studied and worked throughout the Himalaya since first landing in Nepal as a university student in 1988. Beginning in the early 1990s, he founded the first foreign ecotourism company ever based in Tibet.
Ecotourism enabled Jon to undertake years of exploration and mountaineering in every corner of the Himalaya from Pakistan to Bhutan and Tibet. It also facilitated a deep understanding of complex pressures contributing to rapid environmental degradation throughout the region. This experience led Jon to eventually found his own organization focused on environmental conservation at the tri-junction of India, China and Myanmar. This work segued seamlessly into his current position as WWF’s Managing Director for the Eastern Himalayas program.
Ideas of cultural connectivity and trans-boundary conservation inherent in WWF’s Sacred Himalayan Landscape initiative resonate completely with Jon’s own vision of an integrated social and ecological eastern Himalayan conservation complex involving India, China, Bhutan, Nepal and Myanmar. Today Jon splits his time between all Himalayan countries and can occasionally be found at his desk in Washington DC.
“Today, those who venture into the mountains of high Asia will have the unsettling experience of witnessing the disappearance of once great glaciers.”
More on Jon
- MEM – Yale University, School of Forestry and Environmental Studies
- Chinese and Tibetan Language Studies - SW Institute for Nationalities Chengdu, PRC
- Himalayan Studies - School for International Training, Katmandu, Nepal / New Delhi, India / Lhasa, Tibet, PRC
- BA - University of Colorado, Boulder
Areas of Expertise
- Community-based conservation
- Transboundary protected area management
- Sustainable mountain-based livelihood strategies