WWF's Loren Mayor on how she wants to make a difference

Loren Mayor

Loren Mayor, Chief Operating Officer, WWF-US


As a child, I spent summers canoeing on the Delaware River, surrounded by birds and other wildlife. This experience of being alone, but also a part of something bigger, always re-energized me. As an adult, I’m able to go back to that memory and feel the same way all over again, and that’s something for which, years later, I remain truly grateful. I want my children and the next generation to have similar opportunities to enjoy and learn from nature.


I started off teaching theater, loving every moment in the classroom. However, I yearned to effect change on a larger scale—first in management consulting, and then at NPR, where I worked alongside people passionate about protecting and strengthening our democracy through fearless and unbiased journalism. But what kept me up at night was the state of our planet. Climate change and nature loss are problems that require us to take a big-picture view and offer big-picture solutions. The big picture is at the core of WWF’s mission, so I knew that’s where I needed to be.


As WWF’s chief operating officer, I take immense satisfaction in influencing the complex, interlocking system that is our organization. I’m able to see how the pieces fit together and remove roadblocks, enabling our talented team to work as effectively as possible. And I’m proud of the progress we’ve made toward more consistently embodying our core values of collaboration, courage, integrity, and respect.


I started my role at WWF just as the pandemic struck and remote work began. It was a strange and challenging time—in our jobs, in our homes, and in our communities. But it was also a reminder of the importance of WWF’s mission. The fact that deforestation and environmental degradation are directly linked to the spread of diseases affirmed that I am in the right place, working on some of the most pressing issues that affect people’s daily lives.


The other big thing the pandemic underscored for me was the value of fellowship. Earlier this year we had our first All-Together Day, where we brought the entire staff in to spend a day learning about their colleagues’ work and getting a chance to connect. Afterward I heard from a lot of people that they hadn’t really understood the breadth and scope of the organization they’d joined until that day.

We have the power to inspire one another. That, perhaps more than anything else, makes me hopeful for the future.

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