Heath Nero is the Senior Program Officer in charge of Global Conservation at the Wyss Foundation. He oversees all of the Foundation’s conservation grantmaking including the Wyss Campaign for Nature, a ten year, $1 billion global effort launched in October 2018 to help protect 30% of the world’s lands and ocean by 2030. In October 2021, this commitment was increased to $1.5 billion through 2030.
Since Heath joined the Wyss Foundation in 2009 as a Program Manager overseeing the Foundation’s land protection efforts in the Intermountain Western United States, the Foundation’s geographic focus has expanded greatly and now includes land and ocean protection work in Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central America, much of South America, several East African Countries, Romania, Spain, and Australia, in addition to a continued focus on land protection in the United States. Since launching in 1998, Wyss philanthropy has helped partners protect an area of land nearly the size of Colorado and an area of ocean larger than Alaska, Texas, and California, combined.
Before joining the Wyss Foundation, Heath served as a Combat Engineer Officer in the 4th Infantry Division, serving a one-year combat tour during the first year of the Iraq War, earning a Bronze Star for his service. After leaving the army, he worked for The Wilderness Society, helping local advocates secure administrative protections for at-risk wildlands through BLM Resource Management Planning processes.
Heath has a B.S. in Civil Engineering from the United States Military Academy at West Point and a M.S. in Environmental Policy from the University of Michigan, where his thesis focused on the creation and early management of the National Conservation Lands.