Executive Director

Debra Erickson is a conservation expert, educator, brand strategist, award-winning marketer, and children’s television producer. She has led these efforts at several flagship venues visited by millions of guests from around the world, including the San Diego Zoo, San Diego Zoo Safari Park, Atlantis in the Bahamas, S.E.A. Aquarium in Singapore, and SeaWorld in San Diego and Orlando.

Debra’s prior roles include Director of International and Environmental Communications for Anheuser-Busch Companies, and Executive Director and Conservation Director for Orangutan Foundation International, and Director of Marketing Communications and Interpretation for San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance. She is former President of the International Zoo Educators Association, and she is currently Executive Director of Atlantis Blue Project Foundation. Debra has extensive experience in nature, conservation, and ecology education. She has created, developed, and written education curriculum, marketing campaigns, film scripts, and interpretive graphics, presentations, and experiences for audiences of all ages and backgrounds, and specializes in incorporating conservation and call-to-action messaging.

Debra has traveled widely throughout her career, including to Africa, India, Southeast Asia, Australia, Europe, South America, and China. Until recently, she lived in San Diego with her husband, Lew, and their son, Jackson; she and her family have now moved to and live in Madagascar, where their home serves as initial headquarters for Wildlife Madagascar.

As a lifelong learner, Debra loves reading, exploring, and engaging in wildlife and nature adventures with friends and family. It was on a tour to Madagascar that she fell in love with the country, its wildlife, and its people, and she has made it a personal life goal to work with Madagascar’s communities to aid conservation there while also improving livelihoods.