Katie Zdilla

Senior Director, Durable Conservation and Finance

Katy Zdilla headshot
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Katie Zdilla is the Senior Director of Durable Conservation and Finance and works to catalyze long-term, sustainable financing for large-scale conservation areas. She leads the development of emerging opportunities for WWF with Enduring Earth and drives protected and conserved area innovation and research in areas where WWF can make strategic investments for outsized impact. This includes collaborating to ensure protected and conserved areas are more inclusive, resilient, and durable. 

Over the past decade, Katie managed WWF’s global program to replicate Project Finance for Permanence around the world. Before that, she was part of the forest program, focusing on promoting responsible forestry and stopping illegal logging. Her work leverages previous experience on projects ranging from primatology to estuarine ecology in the Chesapeake Bay watershed, West Africa, and Latin America, as well as experience with DC organizations and federal agencies, including the US Fish and Wildlife Service and the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.

She has a Master’s in Sustainable Development and Conservation Biology and a Bachelor’s in Biology with a minor in Environmental Studies. Outside of her formal education, she has additional training from the Organization for Tropical Studies and the University of The Gambia. A native of the DC metro area, she grew up volunteering at the National Zoo where she first built relationships with some of the species that she now works to protect.

More on Katie


Senior Director


  • MS - Sustainable Development and Conservation Biology, University of Maryland
  • BA - Biology with a minor in Environmental Studies, Saint Mary’s College of Maryland

Areas of Expertise

  • Protected and conserved areas
  • Conservation finance
  • Community-based conservation
  • Tropical ecology