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Johno Niles

Vice President of Science and Conservation

John O. Niles, who goes by Johno, serves as the Vice President of Science and Conservation at the San Diego Natural History Museum. An international expert in climate change and the global carbon cycle, he has been called one of the planet’s “most promising people to deliver bigger, better, and faster conservation and climate solutions.”

As a member of the executive team, Niles leads the Science and Conservation department (comprised of 50+ staff), provides focus for its research goals, and oversees its well-established contract services division (PaleoServices and BioServices). Johno's experience in international conservation work, climate resilience, and non-profit management helps The Nat take a more proactive role in applying its biodiversity research to today’s most pressing issues.

Johno has held roles at renowned conservation organizations—serving as staff scientist at Stanford University’ Center for Conservation Biology and as the Director of Forests and Climate at the World Wildlife Fund—and has also founded his own nonprofit organizations including The Carbon Institute. Johno was also founding Executive Director of the Climate Community & Biodiversity Alliance and was the lead author of its world renown standard for equitable and holistic conservation and restoration.

Before joining The Nat in January 2024, he served as the Senior Manager for Natural Climate Solutions at Salesforce, where he managed grants, contracts, reporting, and administration of the company’s global nature restoration and climate change programs.

Over the past 20 years, Johno has published climate change textbooks and peer-reviewed articles on climate change, forestry, climate finance and climate policy, and taught at universities in the United States, China, Indonesia, Cameroon, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.