National Geographic Society Hires Tracy Wolstencroft ’80, P’15 as CEO

Tracy R. Wolstencroft, President and CEO, National Geographic Society (PRNewsfoto/National Geographic Society)

Tracy Wolstencroft ’80, P’15 on Oct. 1 will take over as president and CEO of the 130-year-old National Geographic Society, shepherding the nonprofit into a future in which it hopes to contribute to a “healthy, more sustainable planet for generations to come,” the organization’s board of trustees has announced.

“The National Geographic Society has an unparalleled capacity to illuminate and educate people about the wonders of the world—and to inspire action at scale to protect it,” said Wolstencroft in a statement. “And thanks to our strategic relationship with National Geographic Partners, we’re uniquely positioned to reach global audiences through NGP’s powerful media platforms. It’s a unique privilege to join this amazing community of explorers, scientists, photographers, educators, storytellers, and staff to help make measurable progress toward our ultimate vision: a planet in balance.”

National Geographic Society joined with Twenty-First Century Fox Inc. in 2015 to create National Geographic Partners.

The organization added that the planet’s 7.6 billion people are placing “unprecedented stresses on the world’s species and ecosystems,” demanding resources above what the planet can currently provide. “To confront this reality, the Society is committed to drawing on its legacy of—and continued investments in—strong science, exploration, education, and storytelling.”

Previously, Wolstencroft was CEO (from 2014 to 2017) of the international consultancy Heidrick & Struggles. From 1985 to 2010, he worked at Goldman Sachs, where he led an array of Goldman’s investment banking businesses and advised corporate and government clients across the United States, Asia, and Latin America.

After retiring from Goldman, Wolstencroft continued serving as chair of Goldman’s global clean technology practice. He also has sat on National Geographic Society’s board of trustees since 2008, transitioning there after serving on its International Council of Advisors for four years. He is also a co-chair of the International Rescue Committee, a trustee of the Brookings Institution, and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. Kyle Wolstencroft, Tracy’s son, graduated from Bowdoin in 2015.

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