National Geographic Society | Vice President for Research, Conservation, and Exploration |
John Francis serves as Vice President for Research, Conservation, and Exploration at the National Geographic Society, directing funding of these disciplines through the Committee for Research and Exploration, the Conservation Trust, and the Expeditions Council, Young Explorers, and Waitt grants programs. Francis also serves on committees and boards for the National Park System, UNESCO, and the IUCN. John has worked for many years promoting geotourism at National Geographic, overseeing the Center for Sustainable Destination and related mapguides, charters, destination surveys, and other travel initiatives. He received his Ph.D. from the University of California, Santa Cruz and spent five years as a postdoctoral fellow and research associate at the Smithsonian Institution studying the behavioral ecology of marine mammals. Since his beginning roles as grantee and then producer of wildlife films for National Geographic, he has worked to enhance connections between the scientific/conservation community and the public-- made possible through the Society’s funding of path breaking projects and global media reach.