Terri Watson has been named as executive director of LightHawk beginning September 8, 2015. She recently attended the LightHawk Fly-In in Driggs, Idaho and met with supporters, volunteer pilots, conservation partners, as well as LightHawk’s board of directors and staff.
Terri Watson has a long history with LightHawk beginning as a volunteer pilot in 1997, and later becoming a board member. She served a previous term as executive director from 2000-2003, flight services director from 1999-2000, and Northern Rockies program manager from 1998-1999. Most recently, she was executive director of the Pearl Harbor Institute of Pacific Historic Parks in Honolulu, HI. She has also served as executive director of Farallones Marine Sanctuary Association.
“The LightHawk Board of Directors is delighted to have Terri Watson as the new Executive Director,” remarked Josh Marvil, Chairman of the LightHawk board. “Terri's knowledge and understanding of LightHawk, her intellect, superb leadership qualities, and her passion for conservation and flying made her our unanimous choice.”
“After learning that LightHawk was looking for a new leader, I did a bunch of research to see what they were currently doing,” said Watson. “I was so excited to see a smartly focused and concise strategic plan, I thought, ‘they’ve really figured it out’. Between that and the amazing team they have assembled, that’s when I knew I wanted to be an integral part of this incredible organization again.”
The excitement about Terri's return to leading LightHawk has extended to the group’s volunteer pilots and supporters. “I'm beyond thrilled with her leadership and wealth of talents she brings to the organization,” said volunteer pilot Jamie Gamble. “We are looking forward to many productive years with Terri at the helm.”
Longtime volunteer pilot, Polly Ross added, “I loved working with Terri during my first decade or so with LightHawk. Congratulations on getting her back - she's amazing!”
In addition to her extensive nonprofit leadership experience, Terri is a 30-year career professional pilot and aviation business owner. She has worked in many roles as a Search and Rescue/EMS pilot; a fire recon and suppression pilot; a State Department support and training pilot in Iraq and Afghanistan; a former US Army Aviator in Europe, Greenland and Korea; and an aviation consultant. She is a 11,000+ hour Airline Transport Pilot with airplane single / multi-engine land and sea, helicopter, instrument-airplane and helicopter ratings, and flight instructor ratings for each of these.
Terri has flown a wide variety of airplanes and helicopters throughout the world, and always answers the question of, "which one is your favorite?" with, "whatever I am flying at the moment!"
Founded in 1979, LightHawk is a non-profit working with a network of over 200 volunteer pilots. LightHawk establishes partnerships with conservation organizations to perform flight campaigns that accelerate conservation success by promoting informed decision-making, fostering dialogue and building consensus, and increasing the efficiency and effectiveness of conservation action. LightHawk is able to employ aviation to benefit conservation in North and Central America through the support of our generous donors.