WWF Partner Symposium Speakers

Collage of buffalo and plastic photos

WWF Partner Symposium

June 6, 2024 | 2:00 pm – 3:45 pm ET | VIRTUAL


Speakers and Experts

Kristy Bly standing outside

Kristy Bly

Black-Footed Ferret Restoration Manager, Northern Great Plains Program

Kristy focuses her work on conserving and restoring populations of and habitat for black-footed ferrets, black-tailed prairie dogs and swift foxes in the North American Great Plains. She develops and oversees programs and staff for these focal species and engages and maintains relationships with partners, stakeholders, policy makers and donors.

Kristy came to WWF in July 2007 from the Turner Endangered Species Fund, where she led the black-tailed prairie dog and black-footed ferret restoration program on the Bad River Ranches in central South Dakota. From 1994 to 2007, she contributed to grizzly bear, lynx and wolf research in the Northern Rockies and Yellowstone National Park and worked to restore condors, prairie dogs, black-footed ferrets and swift foxes to the desert southwest and the grasslands of South Dakota. Kristy holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Wildlife Biology and Management from the University of Rhode Island and a Master’s degree in Ecology from Montana State University. When she’s not working on the prairie, Kristy lives, runs, bikes, skis, treks and travels through the wild places and faraway lands with her two dogs.

Martha Kauffman

Martha Kauffman

Vice President, Northern Great Plains

Martha oversees WWF-US’s largest domestic field program, the Northern Great Plains ecoregion, which covers 5 US states and 2 Canadian provinces and seeks to conserve one of the last temperate grasslands on the planet. In this role she oversees the program’s strategic vision and supports an outstanding team that partners with Native Nations and ranching communities, develops leading science, drives for needed policy changes, and influences through strategic communications. She’s a leading member of a continent-wide grassland conservation initiative coalescing around a common vision, strategic priorities, and measurable outcomes. Martha is also a tireless champion for global grassland conservation, helping to establish and support WWF’s Global Grasslands and Savannahs Initiative. She also serves on the boards of the Northern Great Plains Joint Venture and Working Dogs for Conservation. Martha received a B.S. in applied earth sciences from Stanford University and a master’s degree in earth sciences from Montana State University.

Jessica Lazarus holding up sign

Jessica Lazarus

Activism and Outreach Manager, Online Marketing

Jessica is responsible for WWF's activism mission and priorities, and drives them forward with passion and expertise. She joined the organization in 2016 to lead the growth, development, and impact of the Panda Ambassador program, an organizing platform for WWF’s most engaged activists. In this role, Jessica oversees the strategic vision and management of the program, focusing on recruitment, retention, and activation of Panda Ambassadors, while also serving as the project manager for key WWF engagements like the annual Lobby Day event and the Youth Conservation Leadership Award. Jessica’s career is marked by a dedication to fostering community engagement and advocacy and she brings a diverse set of skills and expertise to her role at WWF, from community organizing and on-the-ground campaign work, to non-profit and political fundraising, event planning, and development. She served as a senior finance associate for a Washington D.C. based fundraising consultancy and then as the first Director of Development for Sandy Hook Promise, an innovative gun violence prevention non-profit. Jessica lives in central Virginia with her partner Ben, baby daughter Lucy, cat Bartlet, and dog Minny.

Amanda Miller headshot

Amanda Miller

Senior Gift Planning Officer

Amanda is based in SW Ohio and works throughout the Central US with current Legacy Circle members and individuals and families who wish to include WWF in their estate plans. She has worked in philanthropy for nearly 30 years, and her past experience includes development and advancement roles with Otterbein Senior Life and The Ohio State University. She holds a B.A. in English and a master’s degree in Workforce Development and Education from Ohio State. In her spare time, Amanda enjoys traveling, cooking, cycling, reading, spending time with her two daughters and her grand puppies, and fostering service and facility dogs.

Julie Miller headshot

Julie Miller

Executive Vice President, Philanthropic Partnerships and Board Relations

Julie leads WWF’s Development program, overseeing private fundraising efforts that provide support for WWF’s conservation initiatives around the world. Miller also oversees the management of WWF’s Board of Directors and National Council. Prior to joining WWF, Julie spent 10 years building and managing The World Bureau, a research and information product development business. Earlier in her career, she was a vice president in the commercial lending division of First American Bank of Washington. Outside of WWF, Julie has provided her considerable governance and advancement expertise to several nonprofit boards. She currently serves on the Protestant Episcopal Cathedral Foundation Board, which governs the Washington National Cathedral and the three Cathedral schools. She also chaired the governing boards of the St. Albans and Beauvoir Schools. Julie holds a BS from the University of Kansas and an MBA from the George Washington University. She completed an executive management program at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business.

A portrait of Monica Rattling Hawk smiling into the camera in 2020

Monica Rattling Hawk

Native Nations Liaison, Northern Great Plains Program

Monica is a citizen of the Oglala Lakota Nation, an aspiring Unci (grandmother), and resides on Quiver Hill, the northeast corner of the Pine Ridge Reservation, where she happily toils in the soil, harvesting medicines, and enjoying the challenges of walking in two worlds.

Monica, who is walking a journey of discovery of traditional knowledge and ecosystem relationships from an Indigenous perspective, joined the WWF-Northern Great Plains program in 2017. In her role, she leads outreach efforts on Pine Ridge regarding the future of the South Unit of Badlands National Park (locally known as the Strong Hold). This land is both owned and co-managed by the tribe and the National Park Service. Monica is a founding and board member of the Buffalo Nations Grasslands Alliance (BNGA)—a non-profit organization that is working to ensure the sustainability of Native-led grasslands and wildlife conservation, ensuring that this important ecosystem and its wildlife will continue to exist for generations to come. BNGA is working to accomplish its goals by creating sustainable financing opportunities, engaging local communities and leadership, and connecting conservation with Indigenous lifeways. Monica is also an advocate of the Buffalo Treaty, which invited the Oglala Sioux Tribe to be a signatory. She continues to be engaged as a working group member by tackling issues that impact Native Nations and their relative, the buffalo. In addition, Monica explores topics like “food as a medicine” with her community through education on planting, harvesting, and preserving locally grown and harvested foods. She participates in other areas of public service as the President of the Crazy Horse School Board and is a founding member of a local women’s society that focuses on traditional, ethics, thoughts, and philosophy.

Eris Simon

Erin Simon

Vice President and Head, Plastic Waste and Business

Erin’s mandate is to drive positive change across industries in packaging and material sustainability—an area of action that is critical to conserving the world’s natural resources, and one that is key to WWF’s mission of protecting people and the planet. Since joining WWF in 2011, Erin has played an integral role in growing the partnerships, programs, and science that have made WWF a leader in solving one of most pressing environmental issues of our time: plastic pollution. In addition to helping spearhead WWF’s No Plastic in Nature initiative, Erin has led the development of programs to transform the way the world—and specifically business—fights the plastic waste crisis.

In 2019, her team launched ReSource: Plastic, the corporate action hub to tackle the plastic pollution crisis, and since then has built out a robust portfolio of efforts and partnerships to help companies take meaningful, ambitious steps towards circularity. Erin is one of WWF’s leading experts on plastics and packaging and a key member of the WWF delegation advocating for a global plastics treaty, a first-ever international binding agreement on plastic pollution.

Before WWF, Erin was a packaging engineer at HP for 10 years, responsible for the design and implementation of laser jet printer and media packaging. Erin lives in Richmond, Virginia, with her husband, daughter, and dog. When she’s not working, you can find her kayaking with her family.

Andrew Wiley headshot

Andrew Wiley

Director, Partners in Conservation

Andrew leads the fundraising strategy and communications plan to involve WWF’s Partners in Conservation community in its global conservation mission. He oversees the strategic direction of this program to increase the support and engagement of these committed annual donors through mailings, digital platforms, personal correspondence, and in-person events and webinars. He is also responsible for the personal stewardship and cultivation of Partners, and manages the WWF staff who build relationships with those who are closest to the organization. Before joining WWF, Andrew worked in the development offices at the National Council for the Traditional Arts, Washington National Opera, and Common Cause. Originally from St. Paul, Minnesota, Andrew earned a BFA from Syracuse University. In his spare time, he can be found on stage singing lead vocals for DC’s Finest Blues-Fiddle Band, The Roustabouts.