Ian Owens directed the Cornell Lab of Ornithology

The Cornell Lab of Ornithology announced today that it has selected its next executive director.

Ian Owens, a distinguished evolutionary biologist and museum director, will take over the helm of the 106-year-old institution in July 2021.

Owens will replace John Fitzpatrick, who has been managing director of the laboratory since 1995, who announced his resignation last year.

In Fitzpatrick’s more than 25 years, he led the organization from a few dozen employees to currently 250 employees and an annual operating budget of 35 million US dollars. He will stay in the lab for a while and continue to be a professor at Cornell University.

In addition to leading the laboratory, Owens will be a professor at the Institute of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Cornell University’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS).

Owens is from Yorkshire, England. He has 25 years of experience as a professor and professor at Imperial College London and as director of the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History and the Natural History Museum of London.

“As the next director of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ian Owens will embrace what the laboratory stands for and guide us through the 21st century to continue the incredible achievements we have made in science and outreach, and protect nature like no other other organization in the world can inform, “said Linda Macaulay, chair of the Cornell Lab Board of Directors and co-chair of the Search Committee.

She highlighted the combination of talent and experience that made Owens the Lab their first choice, pointing to his influential academic career, deep knowledge of administration and finance, thoughtful leadership style, and lifelong love of birds.

“To have the chance to work in the lab is almost irresistible,” said Owens. “This is a group of bright, highly creative people who are dedicated to using birds to open up nature to a vast community. It’s the most exciting thing I could ever do with my life. “

For more information on this news, please visit the Cornell Lab website.

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