Veteran conservation advocate Eric Draper assumed the position of Executive Director of Audubon of Florida on an acting basis. He follows David Anderson in the role, who last week concluded more than five years of distinguished service. Henry Tepper, Audubon’s Vice President of Eastern State Programs, made the announcement saying, “Eric is one of Audubon’s most talented conservation leaders. He has an impressive record of accomplishment and the skills to lead Audubon’s largest state program.” John Hankinson, Chairman of Audubon’s Florida Board added, “We are grateful to David Anderson for his service and wish him well. We are also pleased that Eric is stepping up to this important role.”
Draper, 56, joined the staff of the National Audubon Society in 1995 as Senior Vice President for Policy. He refocused on Florida in 1999 as state Policy Director. In 2008, he was awarded National Audubon Society’s highest honor, the Charles H. Callison Award of professional distinction. This year, he was named one of the top 40 “influencers” in Florida politics by Campaigns & Elections’ Politics magazine. Upon assuming his duties, Draper said, “I am honored to be given the opportunity to lead an organization whose conservation mission is critical to Florida’s future.”
Over the past 14 years Draper helped orchestrate organizational growth for Audubon of Florida, which now employs more than 50 people with an annual budget of more than $5 million. Florida Audubon’s 100-year history as the Voice of Conservation is now backed by four science research centers, a suite of sanctuaries, 44 local chapters, and the state’s most effective conservation advocacy operation. Draper and Audubon have played key roles in promoting Everglades restoration and Florida Forever while defending state water policies and advancing clean energy legislative proposals. Earlier this year Draper launched a campaign to run for Florida Commissioner of Agriculture but dropped that effort to focus on leading opposition to offshore oil drilling.