Conservation career veteran H. Dale Hall is taking the reins of The Peregrine Fund as interim President and CEO, while the organization continues its search for a permanent replacement for outgoing President and CEO Dr. Rick Watson. Hall most recently served as CEO of Ducks Unlimited, following 31 years with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) that culminated with his nomination and confirmation as Director, a position he held from 2005 to 2009.
“We greatly appreciate Dale's willingness to step into this leadership position during this transition and we are grateful for the incredible experience he brings to the table,” said Carter Montgomery, Chairman of The Peregrine Fund Board of Directors. “He has a long history with our organization, has served on our board, and has a tremendous passion for our mission. His immediate objectives are to help ensure a positive outcome for the search for the next President and to help position the organization for future success.”
The Peregrine Fund was founded in 1970 to restore the Peregrine Falcon, which was removed from the U.S. Endangered Species List in 1999. That success encouraged the organization to expand its focus, and apply its experience and understanding to raptor conservation efforts on behalf of more than 100 species in 65 countries worldwide. The organization has a staff of over 100 conservation experts worldwide, conducting 25 projects on six continents, and annually raises over $6 million in support of raptor conservation and research.
Hall succeeds Dr. Rick Watson, who has a more than three-decade history with The Peregrine Fund. Dr. Watson has worked for the organization since 1990, initially to establish the Madagascar Project to study and conserve three of the world’s most endangered birds of prey. This work led to the rediscovery of two of these species, thought to be extinct, and the establishment of Madagascar’s largest national park to protect their rain forest habitat. He served as International Programs Director from 1998- 2007, when he was elected to The Peregrine Fund’s Board of Directors as Vice President. He became President and CEO in 2017. Dr. Watson will continue to serve in an advisory capacity until the end of 2021.
“Dr. Watson has had a wonderfully productive conservation career and has helped position The Peregrine Fund as one of the most respected international conservation organizations on the planet,” said Hall. “I have had the privilege of knowing and working with The Peregrine Fund since the early 1990s, when funding was secured for California Condor recovery. When I served as Regional Director for the USFWS, we worked closely with The Peregrine Fund to return the Aplomado falcon to the southwest. I am honored and excited to be involved in this important leadership transition, and I look forward to assisting the staff in any way I can while a new President is found.”
The Peregrine Fund has engaged a search firm to assist in the effort to identify and recruit a permanent replacement.
“With Dale stepping in we now have all the ingredients in place to find a world-class CEO for The Peregrine Fund and continue to build a world-class conservation organization that succeeds for the next 50 years and beyond,” said Montgomery. “We applaud Rick for his impactful career, and thank him for his continued dedication and commitment.