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Monica P. Medina


Carlos Manuel Rodríguez

Wednesday, June 14, 2023

Reception 6:30 PM
Dinner and Dancing 8:00 PM

Central Park Zoo
Fifth Avenue at 64th Street

The Gala takes place outdoors within the spectacular zoo setting

Cocktail Attire

Online table sales are now closed
For further information, please contact Liz Benham at 781 741 1616 or


WCS saves wildlife and wild places worldwide through science, conservation action, education, and inspiring people to value nature. We envision a world where wildlife thrives in healthy lands and seas, valued by societies that embrace and benefit from the diversity and integrity of life on earth.

We stand for wildlife. Join us.


On Wednesday, June 14, 2023, the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) will host its annual Gala at the Central Park Zoo. The evening will celebrate WCS’s impact on the planet’s most ecologically important wild places and the extraordinary species that call them home. Unlike any other event in New York City, the Gala takes place outdoors within a spectacular zoo setting under the stars.

Slide 1
Advancing Nature-Based Climate Solutions
Forests are massive carbon sinks for the planet, keeping billions of tons of C02 out of the atmosphere. Saving forests can provide nearly one-third of the action we need by 2030 to maintain the fight against climate change. WCS is working to stop the loss of intact forests, including by accelerating and scaling up protections in the world’s most important intact forests in the Amazon Basin, Congo Basin, North American Boreal, North Eurasian Boreal, and Southeast Asian Archipelago.
Slide 1
One World, One Health
Human, animal, and environmental health are intrinsically connected and profoundly influenced by human activities, as the Covid-19 pandemic made us all acutely aware. With the largest international team dedicated to disease surveillance, rapid response, local training, and wildlife health of any conservation organization, WCS is hard at work responding to this global crisis and helping reduce the risk of future disease outbreaks.
Slide 1
Protecting Nature’s Strongholds
Defending nature’s strongholds—the world’s remaining areas of protected wilderness is our best hope for ensuring the survival of wildlife and ecosystems. Over the past 125 years, WCS has helped create hundreds of protected areas across land and sea, and we are scaling up efforts to make sure Earth’s most important strongholds for biodiversity are equipped to withstand escalating pressures.
Slide 1
Safeguarding Our Ocean
The ocean provides half of our atmosphere’s oxygen, feeds over a billion people, and facilitates 90 percent of global trade. But today, overfishing and the loss of top ocean predators threaten local communities, global economies, and human survival. WCS’s marine program covers the waters of 23 countries, and is designed to safeguard global coral species, reverse the decline of sharks and rays, and steward the recovery of marine mammals.
Slide 1
Saving At-Risk Species
As the world’s premier wildlife conservation organization, WCS has 125 years of experience in successfully saving endangered species. Stable and recovering animal populations, reductions in poaching, and stronger international wildlife protections all prove that our efforts are working.
Slide 1
A Legacy of Successful Conservation
As the first zoological organization in the world to promote wildlife conservation, WCS’s Bronx Zoo helped save bison from extinction more than a century ago. Today, we are working to restore free-ranging bison populations across their historic North American range through partnerships with Indigenous Peoples, accredited zoos, and others.
Slide 1
Connecting People to Wildlife
WCS’s New York City wildlife parks promote lifelong connections between people and nature while advancing conservation of species in the wild. Our four zoos—the Bronx Zoo, Central Park Zoo, Queens Zoo, and Prospect Park Zoo—and our New York Aquarium comprise the world’s largest network of urban wildlife parks and welcome more than 3 million guests a year.
Slide 1
Advancing Indigenous-led Conservation
Across the Amazon-Andes region, WCS is supporting Indigenous Peoples such as these fishers in Bolivia who are building a canoe for the traditional and sustainable practices that maintain their food security.
Slide 1
Conserving Congo’s Wildlife and Carbon-Rich Forests
The Congo Basin is Earth’s largest tropical net carbon sink and Africa’s most biodiverse region. That is why WCS is winning stronger protections for its highly intact forests and iconic species such as the mountain gorilla, forest elephant, and okapi. The Ndoki-Likouala Stronghold, shown here, is one of the rare places Africa where elephant and ape populations have stabilized or risen in the past 15 years.
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Carlos Manuel Rodríguez

Carlos Manuel Rodríguez is CEO and Chair of the Global Environment Facility (GEF), the world’s largest multilateral fund dedicated to confronting biodiversity loss and climate change, and to driving conservation action at the national, regional, and global levels in partnership with 185 member governments, Indigenous Peoples and other civil society groups, and the private sector.

Rodríguez was a critical influence in Costa Rica’s transformation to one of the world’s conservation leaders. During his three terms as Costa Rica’s Environment and Energy Minister, Rodríguez pioneered Payment for Ecosystem Services initiatives, doubled the size of Costa Rica’s forests, made its electric sector 100 percent clean and renewable, and consolidated its National Park System, now world-renowned for ecotourism. Rodríguez served as Director of Costa Rica’s National Parks Service in the 1990s. 

A lawyer by training, Rodríguez is respected worldwide for his passionate advocacy for the planet, bold action-oriented approaches to change, and commitment to equity and rights-based approaches. 



Elizabeth and Lee Ainslie
Laura and Peter Grauer
Diane and Andreas Halvorsen
John and Jeanet Irwin
Alejandro and Charlotte Santo Domingo
Kitty and Stephen Sherrill
Loretta and Chris Stadler
Ann and Andrew Tisch
Priscilla and Ward Woods 
Don and Barbara Zucker


Monica P. Medina
President and CEO

Alejandro Santo Domingo

Thomas J. Edelman

Hamilton E. James
Vice Chair

Elizabeth Ainslie

Elected Trustees

Elizabeth Ainslie
Frederick W. Beinecke
Rosina M. Bierbaum
Duncan A. Chapman
Katherine L. Dolan
Thomas J. Edelman
Christopher J. Elliman
Paul A. Gould
Peter T. Grauer
Jonathan D. Green
Antonia M. Grumbach
O. Andreas Halvorsen
Judith H. Hamilton
Jan Hatzius
John N. Irwin III
Hamilton E. James

Julia Marton-Lefèvre
Ambrose K. Monell
Adebayo O. Ogunlesi
Alejandro Santo Domingo
Juan Manuel Santos
David B “Scott” Schiff
Walter C. Sedgwick
Katherine Sherrill
Caroline N. Sidnam
Loretta M. Stadler
Andrew H. Tisch
Roselinde Torres
Marcel van Poecke
Akiko Yamazaki
Robert B. Zoellick

Life Trustees

C. Diane Christensen
Howard Phipps, Jr., Chair Emeritus
David T Schiff, Chair Emeritus
Mrs. Leonard N. Stern
Ward W. Woods, Chair Emeritus
Barbara Hrbek Zucker

Trustees Emeriti

Eleanor Briggs
Jonathan L. Cohen
Gordon E. Dyal
Bradley L. Goldberg
Brian J. Heidtke

Tables & Tickets

Online table sales are now closed.
For further information, please contact Liz Benham at 781 741 1616 or

Tables & Tickets

$1,950 of each Gala Table at the $10,000 level and above is non-deductible.
$195 of each seat at a $5,000 Guardian Gala Table is non-deductible.

$195 of each $1,500 Supporter Ticket is non-deductible.
Contributions are tax-deductible as provided by law.

* Under federal tax rules, certain restrictions apply to the purchase of gala tickets and tables by donor-advised funds (DAFs) and private foundations.
Please contact your tax advisor or your DAF’s sponsoring organization for more details.

Please note that persons attending the Gala may be photographed or filmed at times throughout the event and the recordings may be distributed.

COVID-19 Warning: An inherent risk of exposure to COVID-19 exists in any public place where people are present. By visiting WCS’s facilities, you voluntarily assume all risks related to exposure to COVID-19. If you are sick, or have possible symptoms, please stay home and take time to recover.


For more information, please contact:
Elizabeth Benham
2300 Southern Boulevard
Bronx, NY 10460
Phone: 718 741 1616

Learn more about the Wildlife Conservation Society

WCS saves wildlife and wild places worldwide through science, conservation action, education, and inspiring people to value nature.

WCS envisions a world where wildlife thrives in healthy lands and seas, valued by societies that embrace and benefit from the diversity and integrity of life on earth.

Photo Credits: Plains zebra © Anup Shah/; © Frank af Petersens; © Paul Hilton for WCS; © WCS Mozambique; Julie Larsen Maher © WCS; Kalyan Varma; ©Rob Wallace/WCS; ©Scott Ramsay/WCS; © BFA; Patrick McMullan/PMc.©Patrick McMullan; © Jillian Nelson/; © InFocusNYC

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