Ronald G. Dodson is retiring from Audubon International after serving as the organization's founder and president of the board for more than 25 years.

Audubon International Founder and Board President announces retirement

Ronald G. Dodson is retiring from Audubon International after serving as the organization’s founder and president of the board for more than 25 years.

Audubon International, a not-for-profit environmental organization headquartered in the Albany area of New York, provides education and technical assistance to businesses, government agencies and communities throughout the United States and over 30 other countries to implement sustainable natural resource management in all places people live, work and play.

After playing a central role in Audubon International’s intensive search for a new executive director, which culminated in the hiring of Ryan Aylesworth (formerly of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service) in June 2012, Dodson informed Audubon International’s board of directors at a recent board meeting of his intention to retire.

“Audubon International has a unique and important mission,” said Dodson. “Under its new executive leadership, the organization is making considerable progress toward its mission and will continue the vision of a public that is well-educated in environmental issues and a society committed to sustainable natural resource management practices.

“It is not without nostalgia that I bid farewell to the organization’s dedicated staff and board members – many of whom I have worked with for decades,” Dodson said. “But I am very excited about what the future has in store for Audubon International under Ryan’s capable leadership.” 

Dodson is credited with re-establishing the Audubon Society of New York State in 1987 after the pioneering environmental organization had been inactive for several decades. Dodson shaped and guided much of the work the organization does today under the name Audubon International.

Over the course of a more than 30-year career in natural resource management, land-use planning and “green” design, Dodson has assisted hundreds of small businesses, major corporations, educational institutions, government agencies, not-for-profit organizations and communities around the world in achieving their goals while advancing sound environmental stewardship. As a wildlife biologist, educator and avid birder, Dodson will remain an ardent environmental leader and champion of biodiversity and watershed protection.

“Ron has helped set a vision for a sustainable future that will allow Audubon International to continue thriving far beyond the conclusion of his long tenure with the organization,” said Aylesworth. “Audubon International will honor Ron’s legacy by building on our past accomplishments and continuously improving to even more effectively address new and evolving environmental challenges.”

During Dodson’s tenure, Audubon International saw substantial growth in program offerings, services and organizational outreach. Under Dodson’s long-time leadership, Audubon International has emerged as a highly reputable organization that employs education, technical assistance, certification and recognition to implement environmental management practices that ensure natural resources are sustainably used and conserved. Dodson also worked closely with the United States Golf Association to grow the Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program, an internationally renowned education and certification program that helps golf courses protect our environment and preserve the natural heritage of the game of golf. Since its founding, Audubon International has enrolled more than 3,000 properties – including golf courses, cemeteries, ski areas, housing developments, hotels and many others – and communities in its rigorous certification programs.

“Ron’s passion for environmental conservation is well known, and he retires from an organization with a cadre of individuals who share that same passion,” remarked Aylesworth. “We wish Ron a very happy and well-earned retirement, and will continue drawing on his wisdom as we work with our valued conservation partners across the globe to provide valuable environmental education and help proliferate application of sustainability principles.”