Cristián Samper has served as the President and the Chief Executive Officer of the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) since 2012. WCS is one of the largest environmental nonprofit organizations in the world, established in 1895 to save wildlife and wild places. WCS manages the largest network of urban wildlife parks, hosting 4 million visitors each year, and carries long-term field research and conservation programs in more than 60 countries. Prior to joining WCS, he served as the Director of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History for a decade, having led a major renovation of the exhibitions, transformed the conservation and digitisation of collections, and recruited the next generation of research scientists. Prior to joining the Smithsonian, he was the Founding Director of the Alexander von Humboldt Institute, the national biodiversity research institute for Colombia. He currently serves on the board of the Carnegie Institution for Science, the Alliance of Bioversity and the International Center for Tropical Agriculture, and the Joyce Foundation, and also served on the Harvard Board of Overseers. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences. Samper grew up in Colombia, studied biology at the Universidad de Los Andes, and earned an M.A. and a Ph.D. from Harvard University. He lives in New York with his wife and two children.