Q & A

You work with toilets, whales, and snails…what is the common thread?

The common thread in all of CREE’s work is that: (a) it is an idea or approach conceived by a person living and working within the community and (b) it is an idea that will simultaneously protect the environment and help to alleviate poverty constraints through enhancing human welfare. CREE believes all the ideas in its leadership portfolio are great ones, though they may not be tied neatly together by focal landscapes or groups of wildlife, such as big cats or marine mammals. We therefore ask donors for a little patience to first understand our model and its aims before analyzing the in country focus of work.

Why should funders care?

CREE’s approach and vision is an excellent option for foundations that need to have an exit strategy after their funding expires since support is never permanent. If a foundation provides CREE with an initial investment of say, $20,000, and this helps to spurn entrepreneur led activity that brings in more funders, markets the idea, and delivers on outcomes, then the impact is greater than the project cycle. We believe the face of conservation in the coming century will be innovative leaders from Africa, Asia, and Latin America shaping their own destinies and taking full advantage of a connected and networked high tech world.

Who supports CREE’s model?

Most importantly, the communities themselves! But CREE’s innovative strategy has also been recognized and supported by such prestigious institutions as the MacArthur Foundation, Google, International Coral Reef Action Network, Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund, Royal Caribbean’s Ocean Fund, and Ocean Park Conservation Foundation. We have been publicized throughout online media and on radio by National Public Radio’s Worldview.

How is CREE qualified to evaluate the scientists it mentors and supports?

CREE Staff and Board have over 100 years of combined experience working for small and large non-profits globally. This includes work directly with foundations as well as bilateral AID agencies on projects to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars. CREE’s network has been shaped by experiences with institutions including but not limited to: United Nations Environment Programme, World Education, World Wildlife Fund, The Nature Conservancy, Global Ocean Commission, Sea Web, Defenders of Wildlife, World Conservation Union, and Banyan Global. CREE’s Founder is Faculty at George Washington University’s Elliott Graduate School, where he teaches a course on Rural Development, Human Rights, and Biodiversity. He also a member of the IUCN’s Commission on Environmental, Economic, and Social Policy.

Detailed information on CREE’s network of leaders can be found here. Information on CREE’s Founder, Advisors and Board can be found here.


Changing the face of conservation