WE’RE A SMALL, DETERMINED TEAM













For three decades, the Tompkins Conservation team has been committed to working on the ground in the Southern Cone of South America to confront the twin crises facing life on Earth: climate chaos and mass extinction. From northern Argentina to southern Chile, we are preserving land and sea, restoring biodiversity, and helping communities to thrive.

ORIGIN STORY | Doug and Kris Tompkins |





Douglas Tompkins, Founder and Benefactor (1989 – 2015)
Kristine McDivitt Tompkins, Cofounder (1994 – present) and President

The visionary force behind Tompkins Conservation, Douglas Tompkins (1943-2015) co-founded The North Face and Esprit before leaving the business world in 1990 to dedicate his life to environmental activism and funding conservation. His first endeavor was saving temperate rainforest in Chilean Patagonia, where he was soon joined by the longtime CEO of Patagonia, Kristine McDivitt. They married and together have joined the ranks of the most successful conservation philanthropists in history, inspiring others to join in their mission. Beyond creating national parks and rewilding, Tompkins Conservation has spearheaded environmental campaigns, supported activism, engaged in regenerative agriculture, and published books on environmental topics. In 2015, a tragic kayaking accident took Doug’s life. Kristine continues to expand their initiatives as president of Tompkins Conservation. She is also a former UN Environment Patron of Protected Areas.

(Photograph of Doug and Kris by Nicolas Piwonka)

Douglas Tompkins, Founder and Benefactor (1989 – 2015)
Kristine McDivitt Tompkins, Cofounder (1994 – present) and President

The visionary force behind Tompkins Conservation, Douglas Tompkins (1943-2015) co-founded The North Face and Esprit before leaving the business world in 1990 to dedicate his life to environmental activism and funding conservation. His first endeavor was saving temperate rainforest in Chilean Patagonia, where he was soon joined by the longtime CEO of Patagonia, Kristine McDivitt. They married and together have joined the ranks of the most successful conservation philanthropists in history, inspiring others to join in their mission. Beyond creating national parks and rewilding, Tompkins Conservation has spearheaded environmental campaigns, supported activism, engaged in regenerative agriculture, and published books on environmental topics. In 2015, a tragic kayaking accident took Doug’s life. Kristine continues to expand their initiatives as president of Tompkins Conservation. She is also a former UN Environment Patron of Protected Areas.

*Photograph of Doug and Kris by Nicolas Piwonka

| Douglas Tompkins |

| Kristine McDivitt Tompkins |

Doug Tompkins

| Douglas Tompkins |

The visionary behind Tompkins Conservation, Douglas R. Tompkins (1943–2015) was a wilderness advocate, mountaineer and philanthropist. He nurtured a passion for nature through a lifetime of experiences as a climber and a whitewater kayaker, with first ascents and descents on multiple continents. As the founder of The North Face and co-founder of Esprit, he became a successful entrepreneur despite not having a university degree. In 1990, he moved to Patagonia seeking to fully devote himself to what he called, ‘paying rent for his time on the planet,’ working to protect remote rainforest where he was joined by Kris McDivitt. They soon married and joined forces for conservation. Using the sum of his business earnings, Doug funded environmental activism, designing large-scale and innovative conservation projects throughout the Southern Cone.

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Kristine McDivitt Tompkins

| Kristine McDivitt Tompkins |

Kristine McDivitt Tompkins is the president and co-founder of Tompkins Conservation, an American conservationist, and former CEO of Patagonia, Inc. For three decades, she has committed to protecting and restoring wild beauty and biodiversity by creating national parks, restoring wildlife, inspiring activism, and fostering economic vitality as a result of conservation. Kristine and her late husband Douglas Tompkins have protected approximately 15 million acres of parklands in Chile and Argentina through Tompkins Conservation and its partners, making them among the most successful national park-oriented philanthropists in history. Kristine served as Patron for Protected Areas for the UN Environmental Programme from 2018-2022. The recipient of numerous honors, she was the first conservationist to be awarded the Carnegie Medal of Philanthropy.

| OUR TEAM |

Kristine McDivitt Tompkins

Nicole Perman

Debbie Ryker

Carolyn McCarthy

Sawyer Downey

Heather Kim

Esther Li

Zack Gingg

Beth Wald

Kristine Tompkins

Kristine McDivitt Tompkins

Cofounder and President of Tompkins Conservation

Kristine McDivitt Tompkins is the cofounder and president of Tompkins Conservation. The former CEO of Patagonia, Inc, she has spent the last 27 years protecting and restoring Chile and Argentina’s wild beauty and biodiversity through creating national parks, restoring wildlife, inspiring activism, and fostering economic vitality as a result of conservation. A key figure behind the establishment of 11 national parks and two marine parks in Argentina and Chile, she has helped to protect approximately 14.2 million acres through Tompkins Conservation and its partners. Along with her late husband Douglas Tompkins, the visionary behind these conservation projects who passed away in 2015, she is considered one of the most successful national park–oriented philanthropists in history. In 2017, she received the Carnegie Medal of Philanthropy. A global leader in conservation, she served as the UN Environment Patron of Protected Areas from 2018-2022.

Nicole Perman

Nicole Perman

Chief of Staff

Nicole joined Tompkins Conservation in 2017. She previously worked at the National Geographic Society and cofounded a political organizing group dedicated to creating opportunities for volunteers to participate in grassroots democracy. Nicole graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Syracuse University with degrees in geography, policy studies, and Spanish, which she studied in Chile, Ecuador, and Spain.

Debbie Ryker

Debbie Ryker

Finance Director, USA

Debbie sits on the board of directors of Tompkins Conservation and is the finance director for all of the Tompkins family office, private, and philanthropic efforts. She began her career in public accounting as a C.P.A. specializing in taxation and was the chief financial officer of Esprit de Corp (founded by Doug Tompkins) for six years.

Carolyn McCarthy

Carolyn McCarthy

Global Communications Director

Carolyn joined Tompkins Conservation after working as a travel journalist based in Latin America, where she witnessed in-person the rapid degradation of wild lands and loss of biodiversity and culture in areas as remote as the Darien Gap and Patagonia. She has contributed to over 50 guidebooks for Lonely Planet, including Trekking in the Patagonian Andes, and her work has appeared in magazines and anthologies. As a Fulbright fellow, she documented the legacy of pioneer culture in Chilean Patagonia.

Sawyer Downey

Sawyer Downey

Executive Office Administrative Associate

Sawyer graduated magna cum laude from the University of Florida where she studied sustainability, ecology, art, ecophilosophy, and climatology. A former research assistant at the UF/IFAS Nature Coast Biological Station, her introduction to administration for a non-profit came from interning at Blue Mountain Center, a justice-focused artist and conference center in Adirondack Park.

Heather Kim

Heather Kim

Communications Coordinator

Heather joined Tompkins Conservation following multiple photo editing roles at National Geographic. Previously, she was a photojournalist at 13NewsNow and an Instagram News Fellow at the Denver Post. She graduated from the University of Maryland with a B.A. in Broadcast Journalism and a minor in Asian American Studies.

Esther Li

Esther Li

Controller, USA

Born and raised in San Francisco, Esther is a certified public accountant with a Master’s degree in Taxation. She worked with Doug at Esprit for many years and has worked on the Tompkins Conservation team for over 20 years.

Zack Gingg

Zack Gingg

Digital Archivist

Zack joined Tompkins Conservation in 2020 following his time working on the photo archivist team at Patagonia. His introduction to the nonprofit sector began in 2016 when he joined Ethiopia Skate as an ambassador and logistics coordinator. He graduated from Cal Poly where he studied business, data analysis, and photography.

Beth Wald

Beth Wald

Social Media & Visual Storytelling

Beth Wald is a documentary photographer and filmmaker whose work explores human connections with land and nature, a passion that has taken her around the globe and far off the grid. She has thirty years’ experience photographing for a wide variety of publications, including National Geographic, Smithsonian, Outside and High Country News. Starting in the early 1990’s, she has made numerous trips to photograph and film Tompkins Conservation projects in Chile and Argentina.


We conceive of progress as going in a certain direction: forward. But what is “forward”? If we are walking toward an abyss and reach the edge, well, we stop. If we take another step forward we’ll fall into the abyss and die. But if we turn 180 degrees and take another step forward, where are we going? We are not going back to the past. We are walking toward the future.

—Doug Tompkins

BOARD

Peter Buckley

Tom Butler

Malinda Chouinard

Yvon Chouinard

Jib Ellison

Quincey Tompkins Imhoff

Rick Ridgeway

Debbie Ryker

Kristine Tompkins

ADVISORY COUNCIL

Forrest Berkley

Christina Desser

Chris Evans

Tony Hansen

Nicolás Ibañez, Jr.

Gardner Imhoff

Nadine Lehner

Scott Malkin

Jim Sano

Nancy Schaub

John van der Stricht

Heather Loomis-Tighe

AWARDS AND HONORS

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| 2022 |

Senckenberg Prize for Commitment to Nature to Kristine Tompkins

| 2021 |

Kyoto Earth Hall of Fame 2022 Senckenberg Prize for Commitment to Nature to Kristine Tompkins

Rachel Carson Award, National Audubon Society to Kristine Tompkins

| 2019 |

Kristine Tompkins selected for WOMEN: The National Geographic Image Collection

AFAR Vanguard Award for travel visionaries to Kristine Tompkins

Foundation Credicorp Capital 2019 Award (Chile) to Kristine Tompkins

| 2018 |

Kristine Tompkins designated UN Environment Patron of Protected Areas

Recognition of Kristine Tompkins for Lifetime Contribution to the Chilean wilderness, Chilean-North American Business Bureau

Luis Oyarzún Award granted by the Universidad Austral de Chile to Kristine Tompkins

| 2017 |

Woodrow Wilson Award for Corporate Citizenship, Woodrow Wilson Center to Kristine Tompkins

Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival Legacy Award to Kristine Tompkins

Carnegie Medal of Philanthropy to Kristine Tompkins

Cynthia Pratt Laughlin Medal, Garden Club of America to Kristine Tompkins

Outdoor Inspiration Award, Presented by Adidas Outdoor at Outdoor Retailer to Kristine Tompkins

Kristine Tompkins nominated National Geographic Adventurer of the Year

Outdoor Inspiration Awards at Outdoor Retailer — Lifetime Achievement Award awarded to Douglas and Kristine Tompkins

| 2016 |

Lowell Thomas Award, The Explorers Club to Kristine Tompkins

World Tourism Award, World Travel Market to Kristine Tompkins

BBVA Foundation Award for Biodiversity Conservation in Latin America to Kristine Tompkins

David R. Brower Award, American Alpine Club to Kristine Tompkins

Kristine Tompkins honored as Sustainability Leader, “Uniting Global Philanthropy Inspiring Action For The Planet,” East-West Sustainability Summit, IUCN World Conservation Congress

Recyclápolis Award, Fundación Recyclápolis (Chile) to Kristine Tompkins

| 2015 |

Long View Conservation Award, Mohonk Preserve, NY to Douglas and Kristine Tompkins

Global Economy Prize, Kiel Institute for the World Economy to Douglas and Kristine Tompkins

| 2013 |

Conservation Achievement Award, Bird Life International to Douglas and Kristine Tompkins

| 2012 |

New Species Award, African Rainforest Conservancy to Douglas and Kristine Tompkins

| 2010 |

International Visionary Award, Scenic Hudson to Douglas and Kristine Tompkins

International BAUM Special Award, B.A.U.M (German Association for Environmental Management)

| 2009 |

Honorary Degree, College of Idaho awarded to Kristine Tompkins

| 2008 |

World Rainforest Award, Rainforest Action Network to Douglas and Kristine Tompkins

Environmental Award, Bruno H. Schubert Foundation to Douglas and Kristine Tompkins

| 2007 |

Gold Steward Award, International Conservation Caucus Foundation to Douglas and Kristine Tompkins

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EXPLORE | Our Work |

Tompkins Conservation is a strategic collaborator of its offspring nonprofits Rewilding Chile and Rewilding Argentina.

CHILE

ARGENTINA

In ways large and small, as individuals and groups, we have the power to reorient the trajectory of life on Earth toward beauty, diversity, wildness, and health.