M. Sanjayan, Ph.D.

Executive Vice President and Senior Scientist

Conservation International

Dr. M. Sanjayan is a global conservation scientist, writer and Emmy-nominated news contributor. He is an expert in the human side of conservation, exploring the dependence of our species on the natural world and telling stories of people living with nature.

As executive vice president, Sanjayan leads several divisions for CI including Oceans, Science, Development, Brand + Communications and Strategic Priorities. He is overseeing CI’s pioneering use of virtual reality filmmaking to raise awareness of global conservation issues and led the launch of CI’s first virtual reality film, “Valen’s Reef,” which explores one of the most beautiful and biologically diverse places in the Pacific Ocean.

“Humans are not separate from nature; we are part of it.”

Sanjayan co-hosted “Big Blue Live,” the PBS and BBC television event showcasing marine life on the Pacific Coast and the first live primetime natural history show on American television. He also hosted the award-winning PBS and National Geographic television series “EARTH: A New Wild,” which was filmed in over 24 countries, and he was a contributor on Showtime’s Emmy-winning series on climate change, “Years of Living Dangerously.” He has appeared on numerous other programs, including “The Today Show” and “The Late Show with David Letterman” and was named to Men’s Journal’s list of the “50 Most Adventurous Men.”

Sanjayan holds a master’s degree from the University of Oregon and a doctorate from the University of California, Santa Cruz. Sanjayan’s peer-reviewed scientific work has been published in journals including Science, Nature and Conservation Biology.

Sanjayan is a Disneynature Ambassador, a Catto Fellow at the Aspen Institute and a Distinguished Professor of Practice at Arizona State University’s Center for Biodiversity Outcomes. He is on the National Geographic Society’s Explorers Council and serves as a visiting researcher at UCLA’s Institute of the Environment and Sustainability. Follow Sanjayan on his expeditions at @msanjayan or on Facebook.

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