April 04, 2016

Keith Bildstein named interim president

National search for new leader is underway

President Search

The board of directors at its spring meeting named Keith L. Bildstein, Ph.D., the Sanctuary's Sarkis Acopian Director of Conservation Science, to serve as interim president. A national search is now underway to identify the next leader at Hawk Mountain and will continue until the right candidate is identified.

"During the transition, the staff and board have complete faith in Keith and his abilities and know the Sanctuary is in good hands," says Fred Beste, chairman of the Hawk Mountain board of directors.

"Keith has served the Sanctuary for more than 20 years, is a world authority on raptors, and has superbly played such a role at the Sanctuary before," Beste adds.

About Keith Bildstein

Keith Bildstein oversees programs in Conservation Science at the Acopian Center for Conservation Learning where he sets priorities and conducts Sanctuary research, and coordinates research by visiting scientists and students. He also is responsible for achieving goals set by the Science Advisors Committee, including leadership and mentorship in global raptor conservation. In addition, he oversees the Conservation Science Traineeship Program and the newly emerging Graduate Student Program. His current research projects include a study of striated caracaras, a long-term study of New World vultures, and research on the endangered hooded vulture in Africa.

He previously served as interim executive director following the retirement of then-Executive Director Cynthia Lenhart. 

Bildstein received his B.S. in Biology at Muhlenberg College and his masters and Ph.D. in Zoology from Ohio State University in 1976 and 1978. He is Adjunct Professor of Wildlife Biology at the State University of New York-Syracuse, was Visiting Assistant Professor of Biology at the College of William and Mary in 1978, and Distinguished Professor of Biology at Winthrop University from 1978 to 1992.

A 2015 Fellow of the National Association for the Advancement of Science, Bildstein also is a Fellow of the American Ornithologists’ Union, past president of the Wilson Ornithological Society and the Waterbird Society, and past vice-president of the Raptor Research Foundation. He edited the Wilson Bulletin, a quarterly journal of ornithology, from 1984 through 1987, served as a member of the editorial board of The Auk, the AOU’s journal, in 1997-2000, and is a member of 21 professional organizations.

Bildstein has helped organize the scientific programs of seven national and seven international ornithological meetings and is the author of more than 100 peer-reviewed publications and several books including Migrating Raptors of the World: their ecology and conservation (2006). He recently submitted the final draft of his latest book, How raptors work: the curious nature of the world’s birds of prey, which is slated for publication by Cornell University Press in early 2017.