Director of Conservation Evidence, Global Science
Dr. Sam Cheng is WWF's Director for Conservation Evidence and works across the organization and with external organizations to advance evidence-informed practice in conservation programs. She has extensive experience partnering with government agencies, conservation non-profits, multilateral institutions, and foundations to systematically evaluate the impact of conservation on ecological and social outcomes and identify key insights to guide policy, practice, and research. Her work also focuses on the process of utilizing evidence to inform decisions in conservation and development. She works with diverse partners to understand where, when, and how to provide timely and responsive evidence for different policy and program scenarios. Most recently, she was the founding co-director of the Conservation Solutions Lab, a multi-institutional initiative aimed to design evidence-informed approaches to community engagement in biodiversity conservation and sits on the National Ocean Protection Coalition's Science Advisory Team.
Prior to joining WWF, Dr. Cheng was a scientist at the Center for Biodiversity and Conservation at the American Museum of Natural History where she was the lead for the first U.S.-based center with the global Collaboration for Environmental Evidence and the Research and Evidence Lead for USAID's Integrated Natural Resource Management Activity. Throughout her career, she has worked to develop and improve open-source methods and tools for identifying, synthesizing, and delivering evidence for pressing policy questions for conservation and development.
More on Sam
Director of Conservation Evidence
- Ph.D. from University of California in Los Angeles
- B.A. from Scripps College
Areas of Expertise
- Evidence-informed decision-making
- Marine biodiversity and conservation
- Near-shore squids