Director Conservation Solutions
David Gadsden serves as the Director of Conservation Solutions at Esri, the Environmental Systems Research Institute, where he oversees an interdisciplinary team dedicated to supporting a global user community of over 5,000 organizations. As an applied geographer, David brings decades of expertise leveraging geographic information systems (GIS) to address both humanitarian and environmental challenges. Under his stewardship, Esri has innovated solutions to pressing conservation challenges, spanning from ecological monitoring, human-wildlife conflict resolution, and regional conservation prioritization and planning. David served as an advisor in the development of the CA Nature framework, an initiative to unlock geographic information through focused applications to help advance the State of California's ambitious and equitable 30x30 targets.
After earning his Geography degree from the University of Washington in 1995, David's served as a Peace Corps volunteer in rural Tanzania, working on community-level natural resource management in a considerably degraded landscape. Over his 20+ year career at Esri, Gadsden has championed the development of advanced geospatial solutions, with leading global institutions including the United Nations, US Dept. of State, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Jane Goodall Institute, and other prominent NGOs.
David's diverse applications of GIS have traversed sectors ranging from global health and disaster response to indigenous sovereignty, land mine removal, and the fight against wildlife trafficking. In 2010, he pioneered the Esri Nonprofit Program, which has grown to provide low cost access to Esri’s technology to over 13,500 organizations globally. As Esri's principal liaison to the IUCN, David coordinates efforts to harness geographic information systems, to advance effective conservation management through the Green List Standard, accounting of global conservation efforts in the Contributions for Nature, and restoration efforts through the Restoration Barometer.