Allison Whipple Rockefeller, Co-Founder
Allison Whipple Rockefeller is deeply committed to the communication of American heritage, history, and values, being especially interested in the role of nature and our natural resources in shaping American history and the American character. She is the Founder of National Audubon’s "Women In Conservation", a program building a nationwide community of women in the environment sharing knowledge, fostering relationships, building political influence, celebrating achievements and assisting girls and young women to explore the world of conservation. Allison is Founding Chair of the centerpiece of Audubon's Women in Conservation, its prestigious Rachel Carson Award, one of the most coveted national awards for American women working in the environment.
Allison has been a lifelong conservationist with a deep-seated love for nature and the American landscape. Connecting all Americans, especially young people, to nature is a passion. Allison's work has focused on parks and open space across the national, regional and community level. She served as the first alumna Board Chair of the Student Conservation Association which has placed over-75,000 student volunteers in America's National Parks; has served under four governors as Commission Member for the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation; and is a longtime Board Member of the Central Park Conservancy’s Women’s Committee. Allison is also founder of Cornerstone Parks, the "Pumps-to-Parks Initiative”, a program designed to create a network of small parks and community centers from over 150,000 abandoned gas stations blighting towns across the United States.
Allison's most recent work includes an effort to add information about our national parks and public lands to the U.S. citizenship exam, introducing new immigrants to American environmental stewardship; and co-authoring Ten Principles of Conservation, a campaign aimed to reduce severe public partisanship over the environment by emphasizing shared values.
Allison Rockefeller serves as an advisory Board Member of Nest, a nonprofit bringing transparency, data-driven business development and widespread industry advocacy to global artisans and homeworkers. She is also working on the Human Rights Symbols Campaign, an awareness campaign aimed at educating mainstream American citizens about the top ten global human rights issues. The Human Rights Handbook and its ten Human Rights Symbols intend to engage and mobilize young people to express global citizenship with human rights activism.
In March 2013, Allison Rockefeller served as keynote speaker at the White House Women In The Environment Summit hosted by the Environmental Protection Agency. Allison was the 2013 recipient of Audubon New York’s Thomas Keesee, Jr. Conservation Award and was honored as a 2012 Distinguished New Yorker by the Museum of the City of New York where she served as Trustee for 20 years.
Simon C. Roosevelt, Co-Founder
Simon Roosevelt is an avid hunter and conservationist whose interests have involved him in a wide variety of conservation and environmental projects in North America, South America and Africa. In the United States, he is the founder of the Conservation Roundtable, a periodic gathering of the heads of leading conservation organizations representing hunters and anglers, land trusts, and environmentalists, to discuss and take action on shared conservation issues. Previously, he organized the Catalyst Dinner, a conference in New York City bringing together world leaders in climate change policy and science with a group of the largest US hedge fund managers. He also was a co-founder of the Friends of the Elkhorn Ranch, a private initiative that successfully organized the purchase and transfer of the last remaining parcel of unprotected private land ranched by Theodore Roosevelt in the Badlands of North Dakota to the US Forest Service's Dakota Prairie Grasslands, where it remains in active grazing use. Currently, he is at work on a book portraying the connection between American Hunting and conservation. Intended for hunters and non-hunters alike, this book will be a tribute to American hunting, presenting the tradition, conservation legacy and crucial ongoing role of hunting in American conservation. The book is scheduled for publication by Rizzoli and the Boone & Crockett Club in fall 2017. With colleague Allison Whipple Rockefeller, Simon began American Conservation Projects, to create and pursue ideas that advance the American values of history and landscape. Among their projects is an effort to add, for the first time, study information and a question about citizen ownership of US national parks and public lands on the U.S. Naturalization Test.
Simon is a a member of the Boone & Crockett Club, America’s first private wildlife conservation club, and the Camp Fire Club of America; he is a member of the President’s Advisory Council of the National Wildlife Federation; and he is a trustee of the Scenic Hudson Land Trust and Scenic Hudson, Inc. He also is Commissioner of the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation for the New York City Region.
Elizabeth "Betsy" Mortensen provides research, organizational and administrative support for Simon Roosevelt and American Conservation Projects. Since 2013, Betsy’s principal role has been researcher for Mr. Roosevelt’s upcoming book on hunting, conservation, and public lands in the United States. In the course of that work, she visits archives and libraries across the country, researching the photographic and documentary history of the American landscape. Betsy also is responsible for coordination, including communications and meetings, of the Conservation Roundtable.
Betsy is involved in all projects of the team, including an initiative to educate new American citizens about the country’s National Parks and public lands, as well as lending support to the National Audubon Society's Women in Conservation program, particularly through the Rachel Carson Awards Men’s Council, of which Mr. Roosevelt serves as Co-Chair.
Betsy earned a M.Phil. in Environment, Society and Development at Cambridge, where she did her thesis in collaboration with BirdLife International, focusing on the role of local conservation groups in biodiversity conservation. She earned a B.S. in Fish, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology from Colorado State University. Prior to working with American Conservation Projects, Betsy conducted avian field studies for the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection. She also volunteered on chimpanzee surveys in Tanzania for the Ugalla Primate Project in partnership with the Nature Conservancy. She is co-founder of Sustain Music and Nature, a nonprofit working on greening the music industry and public land songwriting retreats for bands.
Past Team Members
Monika Sheikh was a member of ACP from 2012 to 2016. In her capacity as Vice President of Special Projects for Allison Rockefeller’s philanthropic initiatives, she has worked closely with the National Audubon Society’s Women In Conservation Program to strengthen opportunities for young women interested in careers in science and conservation and to connect women leaders in the environmental movement. In addition to working on various fundraising and cultivation efforts, including the Rachel Carson Awards Luncheon, Monika has aided in the strategic expansion of the initiative’s programmatic goals. She also coordinated Audubon’s Rachel Carson Awards Council, of which Mrs. Rockefeller is founder, and managed Audubon New York’s Rachel Carson Office Internships.
Additionally, Monika has managed multiple donor cultivation and programmatic initiatives with other non-profit organizations including The Student Conservation Association, The Conservation Roundtable, Canterbury Cathedral, Audubon New York and The Rockefeller Family Office. She has also aided in the development and publishing of multiple articles related to initiatives endorsed by American Conservation Projects which have been published in the Huffington Post and Audubon Magazine.
Monika holds a BA in Political Science from Villanova University, where she worked with the Dean of Humanities & Social Sciences to complete a four-year independent study focusing on strengthening inner city education in North Philadelphia.