Dr. Christopher Dunn is the Executive Director of Cornell Botanic Gardens and current Chair of the IUCN National Committee for the USA. His involvement with IUCN is deep, enthusiastic, and based on building consensus and collaboration. He initiated and co-organized the 2016 WCC in Hawai’i, recruited many new US-based IUCN members, worked with IUCN colleagues in the US to establish the US National Committee, served on the IUCN 2017-2020 Programme Committee, and is currently on the IUCN-US Board of Directors. He is particularly engaged in facilitating greater representation by Indigenous Peoples’ Organizations and by natural history organizations such as botanic gardens and arboreta.
His primary goals for the Committee are to: provide a forum for US members to communicate effectively, establish national conservation priorities within the context of the IUCN Programme and Hawaii Commitments, and develop a compelling case for why other US organizations should join the Union.
Prior to being hired as the E. N. Wilds Director at Cornell Botanic Gardens, Christopher was the director of the Lyon Arboretum at UH Manoa and served on the graduate faculty in botany. He also holds adjunct faculty status and supervises graduate students at Northwestern University and the University of Illinois – Chicago.
Dunn served three years as executive director for research at the Chicago Botanic Garden and managed one of the largest botanic garden research programs in the country. Prior, he served for 10 years as director of research at The Morton Arboretum, another major public garden in the Chicago area.
He has long been involved in national and international plant conservation initiatives and continues to contribute to the scientific literature in plant ecology, conservation biology, and biocultural studies.