From the President's Office

David O'Neill - Mass Audubon's 11th President

David O'Neill, President

David O'Neill has dedicated his professional career to conservation. From 2015-2020, he served as the Chief Conservation Officer and Senior Advisor to the CEO of National Audubon Society (NAS). While there, his powerful vision, collaborative nature, and ability to raise critical funds elevated the entire organization. He led the development of NAS's conservation strategies, helped to unify the organization around a single vision, oversaw the organization's policy, conservation, and science agendas, and launched innovative programs to help fight the impacts of climate change.

Roles prior to his work at National Audubon include Vice President at the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, Vice President at Cherokee Investment Partners, Executive Director of the Chesapeake Bay Trust, and Director of Land Use Policy and Outreach for the Urban Land Institute. He is the recipient of the Andrew White Medal from Loyola University for his leadership on Chesapeake Bay recovery efforts and he has authored publications and spoke often on the relationship between land use and environmental health.

As President of Mass Audubon, David is focusing his efforts on expanding our work on climate change, tackling equity, diversity, and inclusion issues including our reach to new audiences, protecting habitat for birds and other wildlife, and widening our lens to affect the health and resilience of Massachusetts, New England, and beyond.

Updates from David

Explore Winter 2023 Cover Photo © Rick Olick


December 14, 2022

It’s a new year, and I can’t tell you how excited and hopeful I am. When I look back at 2022, we saw incredible progress in the fight against climate change at both the federal and state levels, and in cities and towns across the Commonwealth. We saw our education programs ramping back up to full speed. And we saw people coming together to protect and restore lands that benefit plants, wildlife, and people. And we saw stunning fall foliage that served as a reminder that nature brings us deep joy.

Explore 2022 Cover Photo © Steve Mulder


September 23, 2022

Over the summer, I had the privilege of traveling across the state to visit our wildlife sanctuaries, see some of the amazing work we are doing, and meet with partners and supporters to hear what matters most to them. During these trips, I couldn’t help but be reminded of just how important nature is for the health of our planet and for our own well-being.

Waterfall at Broadmoor Wildlife Sanctuary, Image © Gretchen Ertl


June 21, 2022

We welcome the return of summer and all the incredible outdoor opportunities it brings, including the familiar (beach day!), the new (green concert), or the simply delightful (spotting a turtle or a dragonfly on the wing). While we are out enjoying all that the season brings, it’s also wonderful to take a moment to reflect on the awesomeness of nature—and our collective responsibility to take care of our planet.

Waterfall at Broadmoor Wildlife Sanctuary, Image © Gretchen Ertl


March 17, 2022

As much as I love winter and all the outdoor adventures it brings— from snowshoeing to brisk bird walks—by the end, I long for the arrival of spring. It’s a time of renewal and reawakening.

Spotted Salamander resting on a fallen leaf on the trail


September 20, 2021
Over the past several months, I've been soaking up every last bit of summer and seeing firsthand how Mass Audubon is creating opportunities for people like you and me to get out and experience all that nature has to offer.

Blueberries ripening on a bush in summer


June 22, 2021
As we enter the warm summer months, all of our wildlife sanctuaries are open and alive with people and wildlife. This is the result of an unprecedented investment supported by our donors, volunteers, and staff.

Wellfleet Bay volunteer Heather Pilchard rescuing a cold-stunned Kempy's Ridley on Great Island


March 18, 2021
With nearly 40,000 acres of land that we protect and steward and a network of 62 wildlife sanctuaries open to the public, it would be literally impossible to keep up without our 14,000 volunteers.

Young girl in winter gear examines a leaf by the edge of a lake © Paul Blankman


December 11, 2020
To kick off the new year and celebrate 125 years of protecting the nature of Massachusetts, we are focusing on making even more of the natural areas we manage available for you to enjoy. 

Heron perched in the marsh at sunset at Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary © Terri Munson


November 10, 2020
For almost 125 years, Mass Audubon has been the leading force for conservation in Massachusetts. If 2020 has taught us anything, it's how much we all need nature—and how critical it is that we preserve and protect it.

Portrait of John James Audubon


August 14, 2020
As part of our commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion, we, along with National Audubon Society and other independent Audubon Societies, are embarking on our own historical reckoning starting with taking a closer look at our namesake, John James Audubon.

Great Blue Heron © John Yurka


August 12, 2020
A federal court ruled that the legal basis for the rollback of the century-old Migratory Bird Treaty Act is inconsistent with the intent and language of the law.

Purple Coneflowers in a meadow at a Mass Audubon wildlife sanctuary


June 3, 2020
Given the extraordinary times we are in, I feel it is important to use this opportunity to take a stand for what is just and equitable for people of color here in Massachusetts and beyond.

Lake Wampanoag Wildlife Sanctuary


June 1, 2020
What an absolute thrill and honor it is to be elected to serve as the 11th president of Mass Audubon and take the helm of a storied organization that protects the natural world and brings joy to so many people.