M. Sanjayan


Why I'm Involved

I would consider myself a science skeptic. But I’m skeptical about almost everything. That’s sort of what -- look, if you’re a good scientist that’s what you’re trained to do. You’re trained to ask questions, you’re trained to look at evidence, you’re trained to try to reconstruct most things for yourself.

M. Sanjayan

About M. Sanjayan

Dr. M. Sanjayan, Executive Vice President and senior scientist at Conservation International, is a leading global conservation scientist, writer and an Emmy®-nominated news contributor focused on the role of conservation in improving human well-being, wildlife and the environment. He serves on Conservation International’s senior leadership team, overseeing the organization’s Development, News and Publicity and Marketing and Branding strategies.

Sanjayan is currently filming his new TV series, Earth – A New Wild, produced by National Geographic Television in association with the Academy Award-winning Passion Pictures. It will air on PBS in 2015.

In January 2014, he returned as a featured contributor to the BBC World News series The Power of Nature Until recently, Sanjayan served as the Lead Scientist for The Nature Conservancy, where he spent 16 years specializing in development and conservation strategies, focusing on Africa, wildlife ecology and media outreach as their lead scientist and messenger.

He holds a masters from University of Oregon and a doctorate from the University of California, Santa Cruz. His scientific work has been published in journals including Science, Nature and Conservation Biology.

Raised in Sri Lanka and Sierra Leone, Sanjayan’s unique background and expertise have also attracted mainstream media coverage in Vanity Fair, Men’s Journal, National Geographic Adventure, Afar, Outside and The New York Times.

He frequently contributes to CBS News’ science and environment coverage and has hosted documentaries including Planet Earth: The Future (BBC), Expedition Alaska (Discovery Channel), Mysteries of the Shark Coast (Discovery Channel) and the critically acclaimed four part series on energy called Powering the Future (Discovery Channel). Guest appearances include NBC’s Today Show, The Late Show with David Letterman, NBC Nightly News, CNN, Fox News, and the BBC.

Sanjayan is a sought after speaker on college and business campuses with recent appearances on stage at TED Global, International Women’s Forum, Aspen Environment Forum, Aspen Ideas Festival, Clinton Global Initiative, Google, and the Summit Series.

He is a Catto Fellow at the Aspen Institute and a senior advisor to the Clinton Global Initiative. He was recently selected to serve on the Explorers Council, a distinguished group of top scientists, researchers and explorers who provide advice and counsel to National Geographic Society across disciplines and projects.

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