Peter Seligmann

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Peter Seligmann
Born (1950-09-30) September 30, 1950 (age 69)
Years active1976–present
Lee Rhodes (m. 2008)

Peter A. Seligmann (born September 30, 1950[1]) is an American conservationist and nonprofit founder. Seligmann is chairman of Conservation International, an Arlington, Virginia-based environmental nonprofit organization, and from 1987 to 2017 served as its founding chief executive officer[2]. He is also the founding CEO[3] of Nia Tero, a global collaborative with a mission to advance indigenous peoples and local community stewardship of vital ecosystems around the world[4] whose name translates in Esperanto to "our Earth.[5]"

Seligmann is a member[6] of the Council on Foreign Relations; the Zolberg Institute on Migration and Mobility[7] at The New School; a director at First Eagle Holdings[8], formerly Arnhold and S. Bleichroeder Holdings Inc.; and the Mulago Foundation[9]. He has served as a member[10] of The Coca-Cola Company's International Public Policy Advisory Board and as an advisor[11] to the Jackson Hole Land Trust.

On July 20, 2000[12], President Bill Clinton appointed Seligmann to the Enterprise for the Americas Board.

Early life and education[edit]

Seligmann was born Sept. 30,1950, in New York City to Esther Arnhold Seligmann,[13] a dance teacher and sister of Henry H. Arnhold, and Otto Seligmann,[14] an accountant and treasurer of Arnhold Ceramics. He grew up in Plainfield, New Jersey[15].

Seligmann graduated from high school at the Wardlaw Country Day School in Plainfield, New Jersey, in 1968. He holds a bachelor of science in wildlife ecology from Rutgers University (1972),[16] a master's degree in forestry and environmental science from Yale University (1974),[17] and honorary doctorates in science from Michigan State University in 1994[18] and Rutgers University in 2003.[19]

Personal life[edit]

Seligmann is married to glassybaby founder Lee Rhodes, and the two reside in Seattle, Washington. Peter has three daughters from his marriage to Susan Monaghan Seligmann: Melissa Kathryn Seligmann Gokhvat[20], Jennifer Seligmann, and Leah Seligmann. He also has three stepchildren from his marriage to Lee Rhodes: Mericos Hector Rhodes, Evelyn Sale Rhodes, and Cedric Saunders Rhodes.

Seligmann is an avid world traveler, fisherman, and diver[21]


After graduating from Yale University, Seligmann took a job with The Nature Conservancy, stewarding the organization's preserves in 13 states in the Western United States[22]. Later, he helmed the California Nature Conservancy and the Nature Conservancy’s International program.[23]

In 1987, Seligmann became the co-founder and CEO of Conservation International. Seligmann has said his vision is to support an environmentally healthy world that provides economic opportunities and security, and he fulfills it by bringing together everyone from business and religious leaders to bureaucrats and scientists to local and indigenous people.

He served as CEO until July 1, 2017[24], when he was succeeded by the conservation scientist M. Sanjayan. Now he is CEO of Nia Tero.

Seligmann remains chairman of Conservation International alongside board members including former Walmart Chairman S. Robson Walton, chairman of the executive committee; actor Harrison Ford, vice chairman of the board; Laurene Powell Jobs, founder of Emerson Collective; President Ian Khama of Botswana; Northrop Grumman Corp. CEO Wesley G. Bush; Ann Friedman, and others.[25]


  1. ^ "Conservation International Foundation | Learning to Give". Retrieved 31 January 2018.
  2. ^ Makower, Joel (27 June 2017). "Exit Interview: Peter Seligmann, Conservation International". GreenBiz. Retrieved 31 January 2018.
  3. ^ "Peter Seligmann". GreenBiz. Retrieved 2018-06-05.
  4. ^ "How to Ensure Hires Are Values-Compatible". Glassdoor for Employers. 2018-01-23. Retrieved 2018-06-05.
  5. ^ "Nia Tero". NiaTero. Retrieved 2018-06-05.
  6. ^ "A Conversation with Kerri-Ann Jones". Council on Foreign Relations. Retrieved 31 January 2018.
  7. ^ "Advisory Board | Zolberg Institute on Migration and Mobility". Zolberg Institute on Migration and Mobility. Retrieved 31 January 2018.
  8. ^ "". Retrieved 31 January 2018. External link in |title= (help)
  9. ^ "Rainer Arnhold Fellows Program - University Innovation". Retrieved 31 January 2018.
  10. ^ "Meet Our Partners: Conservation International". The Coca-Cola Company. Retrieved 31 January 2018.
  11. ^ "Jackson Hole Land Trust | Crunchbase". Crunchbase. Retrieved 31 January 2018.
  12. ^ Clinton, William J. (1 January 2000). "Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: William J. Clinton, 2000-2001". Retrieved 31 January 2018.
  13. ^ "Paid Notice: Deaths SELIGMANN, ESTHER (NEE ARNHOLD)". The New York Times. 10 May 2000. Retrieved 31 January 2018.
  14. ^ "Paid Notice: Deaths SELIGMANN, , OTTO". The New York Times. 10 July 2003. Retrieved 31 January 2018.
  15. ^ Dennehy, Kevin. "Shaping a New Kind of Conservation". Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies. Retrieved 31 January 2018.
  16. ^ "2005: Distinguished Alumni to be Honored at Cook College Convo..." Retrieved 31 January 2018.
  17. ^ Dennehy, Kevin. "Shaping a New Kind of Conservation". Retrieved 31 January 2018.
  18. ^ "MSU Honorary Degree Recipients: Alphabetical List | Vice President for Research and Graduate Studies". Retrieved 31 January 2018.
  19. ^ "Past Rutgers University Honorary Degree Recipients | Office of the Secretary of the University". Retrieved 31 January 2018.
  20. ^ "Melissa Seligmann, Eugene Gokhvat". The New York Times. The New York Times. 20 October 2013. Retrieved 31 January 2018.
  21. ^ "Expert Detail Page". Retrieved 31 January 2018.
  22. ^ Dennehy, Kevin. "Shaping a New Kind of Conservation". Retrieved 31 January 2018.
  23. ^ "Expert Detail Page". Retrieved 31 January 2018.
  24. ^ "Conservation International Names New Executive Team". Conservation International. Retrieved 31 January 2018.
  25. ^ "Board of Directors". Conservation International. Retrieved 31 January 2018.