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Bruce Babbitt elected Chairman of World Wildlife Fund

Washington, DC - Bruce Babbitt has been elected Chairman of the Board of Directors of World Wildlife Fund. Babbitt succeeds William K. Reilly who served as WWF Chairman since 2000. Babbitt served as Secretary of the Interior from 1993 to 2001, as Governor of Arizona from 1978 to 1987 and as Attorney General of Arizona from 1975 to 1978. He is the author of "Cities in the Wilderness," published last year by Island Press, in which he lays out a new vision of land use in America. He has served as a director of World Wildlife Fund since 2001.

"For 45 years, World Wildlife Fund has been the leading global conservation organization -- protecting nature for the benefit of both people and animals on a truly worldwide scale," said Babbitt. "I'm honored to succeed Bill Reilly who has led the organization as Chairman so well for the past six years."

As Governor, Babbitt brought environmental and resource management to the forefront in Arizona. Appointed Secretary of the Interior by President Clinton in 1993, Babbitt served for eight years, during which he led in the creation of the forest plan in the Pacific Northwest, restoration of the Florida Everglades, passage of the California Desert Protection Act, and legislation for the National Wildlife Refuge system. A certified fire fighter, Babbitt used his front line experience to create a new federal wild land fire policy that emphasizes the role of fire in maintenance and restoration of natural ecosystems. He pioneered the use of habitat conservation plans under the Endangered Species Act and worked with President Clinton to create 22 new national monuments. Babbitt is perhaps best remembered by American school children as the Secretary of the Interior who brought the wolves back toYellowstone.

"Whether it's protecting the Amazon or working to save tigers from extinction, WWF is the leading conservation organization worldwide," said William K. Reilly. "We are pioneering new approaches to conservation that integrate the needs of wildlife and of people so that both thrive. I've been honored to chair the Board of Directors during an incredibly productive period and know that Bruce Babbitt is becoming chairman of an organization poised to do even more. As one of the most respected leaders in this field, his depth of experience and his unwavering commitment to conservation will serve him and World Wildlife Fund well as they continue to confront the increasingly urgent challenge of ensuring our natural systems remain productive and hospitable for future generations."

Babbitt succeeds Mr. Reilly who has been Chairman of WWF for the past six years. Mr. Reilly is founding partner of Aqua International Partners, L.P., a private equity fund dedicated to investing in companies engaged in water and renewable energy. He formerly served as administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Payne visiting professor at the Institute for International Studies at Stanford University, president of the World Wildlife Fund and The Conservation Foundation. He also serves as co-chair of the National Commission on Energy Policy, and chair of the Advisory Board for the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions at Duke University.

"All of us at WWF wish to thank Bill Reilly for his six years of superb leadership," said Carter Roberts, CEO of World Wildlife Fund in the United States. "At the same time, we are so fortunate to have Bruce Babbitt's amazing experience. His solid environmental accomplishments have set the standards for conservation."