Dr. Richard Beilfuss, President & CEO - International Crane Foundation

International Crane Foundation


Dr. Richard Beilfuss, President & CEO

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

 From 2006-2009, Beilfuss lived in Mozambique with his family and served as Director of Conservation Services for Gorongosa National Park. From 1992-2006Beilfuss was responsible for developing and managing ICF’s regional program in AfricaHe 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, Beilfuss has engaged in water management and wetland restoration efforts in more than 20 countries across Africa and Asia, with particular focus on Nepal, Vietnam, Mozambique, and Zambia.  He has contributed to the restoration and management of thousands of acres of prairie and savanna landscape in the Midwestern USA. He has authored more than 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.  

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

 Beilfuss lives with his wife, Katie, and their two sons in Madison. 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. Learn more about our work in Sub-Saharan Africa.