Dr. Rich Beilfuss, President & CEO


Dr. Rich Beilfuss has served as the International Crane Foundation’s President & CEO and ex officio member of the Board of Directors since 2010. He helped launch many of the Foundation’s signature projects and provides oversight, vision and prioritization to the International Crane Foundation’s conservation programs across Asia, Africa and North America. He is responsible for the Foundation’s $9 million annual budget and led their $40 million comprehensive capital campaign. 

From 2006 to 2009, Rich lived in Mozambique with his family and served as Director of Conservation Services for Gorongosa National Park. From 1992 to 2006, he was responsible for developing and managing the International Crane Foundation’s African regional program. He built a team of staff and partners in more than 20 countries across Africa, seeking deep connections with the communities who share their lands with cranes, and spearheaded public and private efforts to implement innovative water management practices in the water-stressed Zambezi River Basin for the benefit of cranes, many other species and human livelihoods.  

Over his 30-year career, Rich has engaged in water management and wetland restoration efforts in more than 20 countries across Africa and Asia, focusing on Nepal, Vietnam, Mozambique and Zambia. He has contributed to restoring and managing thousands of acres of prairie and savanna landscape in the Midwestern United States. Rich has authored over 100 scientific papers, technical reports, proceedings and lay-audience publications and presented his research findings and conservation vision to governments, communities and peer scientists worldwide.  

Rich is a Licensed Professional Hydrologist with a Ph.D. in Land Resources (Wetland Ecology), an M.Sc. in Civil and Environmental Engineering-Hydrology, an M.Sc. in Water Resources Management and a B.Sc. in International Economics. He received the Distinguished Alumni Award from the University of Wisconsin-Madison Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies, where he is an Honorary Fellow, and enjoys teaching courses and mentoring students. The Governor of Wisconsin appointed him to serve on the Examining Board of Professional Geologists, Hydrologists and Soil Scientists.  

Rich lives in Madison with his wife, Katie, and their two sons. He is an avid unicycle rider, dart-thrower and birder – but not all at the same time. 

Click here to view a listing of Rich’s publications on ResearchGate.