WWF Conservation Leadership Award

Recognizing young leaders in the environmental space

The WWF-US Conservation Leadership Award celebrates the achievements of exceptional young people working toward conservation solutions in the United States.

It seeks to inspire other young people to get involved in opportunities within their communities.

Deadline: July 31, 2023

Gabby Ahmadia, senior marine scientist at WWF, surveys a reef in the Selat Dampier MPA, Raja Ampat, West Papua, Indonesia. James Morgan / WWF-US

Are you leading a community that adds exceptional value to the movement to protect our planet?

Does your project create new avenues for the fight against threats like climate change and biodiversity loss?

We invite you to apply!

Deadline: July 31, 2023

At WWF, we celebrate the leadership of people from populations that are underrepresented in the conservation field and often marginalized in the broader society. We strongly encourage leaders from underrepresented groups, including but not limited to people of color, people with disabilities, LGBTQIA+ people, and veterans, to apply for the award.

  • Must be a US resident
  • Must be between 18-30 years old as of August 1, 2023
  • Federal, state and local government employees are not eligible to apply
  • WWF network current or former staff members or their immediate family are not eligible to apply

Meet the winners

Alexia standing in the desert looking at the camera

Environmental justice organizer, educator and scholar

© Beatrice Bucht
Alexia Leclercq, 2022

Alexia Leclercq (she/they) is a grassroots organizer, educator, scholar, and artist. She has led dozens of environmental justice campaigns from passing national climate and chemical reform legislation and fighting for clean water, to addressing aggregate mining pollution, relocating toxic tank farms, and organizing mutual aid. Alexia is the co-founder of the Colorado River Conservancy and of an education non-profit named Start: Empowerment; Alexia graduated from New York University where she published research on the commodification of land and is currently a graduate student at Harvard University.

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Jasmin sitting in a chair and smiling wearing a royal blue outfit.

Shark scientist, educator and social justice activist

© Cassie Wegeng
Jasmin Graham, 2021

Jasmin (she/her) is a shark scientist and environmental educator who specializes in shark and ray ecology and evolution. Her research interests include smalltooth sawfish movement ecology and hammerhead shark phylogeny. Jasmin is the President and CEO of Minorities in Shark Sciences (MISS), an organization dedicated to supporting women of color in shark sciences. She is excited to help open doorws for more underrepresented minority students to join the exciting field of marine science. Her work encompasses the areas of science communication, social justice, outreach, education and conservation.

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headshot of Alexa White

Agroecologist and food sovereignty advocate

© Courtesy of Alexa White
Alexa White, 2020

Alexa (she/her) is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Michigan. An agroecologust and herpetologist, her dissertation research focuses on biophysical indicators of sustainable agriculture and international climate governance pertaining to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal #2: To End Hunger. Alexa is the Co-Founder of the AYA Research Institure, an environmental justice non-profit. She is also a Policy Entrepreneurship Fellow at the Federation of American Scientists and an Agent of Change in Environmental Justice fellow.

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Close-up of Maka at a podium giving a speech.

Indigenous activist, poet, storyteller and climate advocate

© WWF-US/Keith Arnold
Maka Monture Päki, 2019

Maka (she/her) is an Indigenous author, campaigner, scholar, storyteller, poet, and ceremonail preformer from southeast Alaska. Of Tlingit(Lingit), Mohawk, Filipina and Canadian Kanien'keha:ka decent, she was born in Anchorage and is from Yakutat, of the Raven moiety, Copper River Clan, House of the Owl. Her Tlingit name is Keixe Yaxti meaning "Morning Star." Maka resides in Anchorage, Alaska, where she dedicates her personal and professional time to environmental ans social advocacy on behalf of Indigenous and non-indigenous youth and women.

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