Friends of Acadia Names Eric Stiles its next President & CEO
April 14th, 2022
April 14th, 2022
After conducting an extensive national search, Friends of Acadia has chosen conservation leader Eric Stiles as its next President & CEO. Stiles succeeds David MacDonald who stepped down last month after a decade (2012-2022) in the role.
Stiles is currently the President and CEO of New Jersey Audubon—the state’s leading and largest conservation organization—where he has held leadership roles for 21 years. During his tenure as President and CEO, NJ Audubon has grown its philanthropic resources annually through increased corporate, foundation, and individual support; and rededicated its efforts to deliver conservation at the local level, resulting in more direct mission impact.
Key accomplishments under Stiles’ leadership also include the passing of permanent multi-billion-dollar funding for state open space and farmland preservation; initiating and leading a four-state Coalition for the Delaware River Watershed that secured nearly $100 million in federal funding for water and habitat restoration projects; and leading international efforts to save endangered shorebirds migrating through the Delaware Bay.
“Eric brings two and a half decades of conservation leadership experience, a deep commitment to environmental and social justice issues, and great energy and passion for preserving and protecting our parks and natural areas,” said Jack Kelley, Chair of the Friends of Acadia Board of Directors. “Eric is an exceptional choice to be our President and CEO. The Board and I look forward to working with him as we build on Friends of Acadia’s successful tradition of public-private partnership and protection of the park and its surrounding communities.”
Prior to NJ Audubon, Stiles worked for the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection and the US Fish and Wildlife Service. He received a M.S. in Ecology and an M.P.A. at Rutgers University, and a B.S. in Biology from Richard Stockton College of New Jersey. A fellow of Lead New Jersey, he also serves on a number of philanthropic foundation and nonprofit boards and local advisory committees.
“Friends of Acadia is a best-in-class organization, and I’m excited and honored to help lead the important work that lies ahead,” Stiles said. “I enthusiastically look forward to working with the Friends of Acadia staff and board, Superintendent Kevin Schneider and the team at Acadia National Park, and the entire Acadia community, to build upon past successes and meet future challenges. This work includes ensuring the park’s resilience in the face of climate change, engaging young people in the park, expanding diversity and inclusion, balancing visitor experience and use with resource protection, and maintaining Acadia’s amazing trails and carriage roads. My wife Lydia and I have spent years appreciating Acadia’s many virtues as frequent visitors, and we can’t wait to relocate to MDI and start this exciting new chapter in our lives.”
Acadia National Park Superintendent Kevin Schneider said: “We’re excited to welcome Eric to the incredible community that cares for Acadia National Park. Friends of Acadia plays an essential role in helping the National Park Service protect Acadia’s natural and cultural resources, fund crucial park projects, and improve the experience for our visitors. We look forward to continuing our close collaboration with Friends of Acadia with Eric as their President and CEO.”
Stiles will officially assume his responsibilities as President & CEO of Friends of Acadia in early July. Friends of Acadia invites its members and public to meet the new president at the Friends of Acadia Annual Meeting on Wednesday, July 6th at the Bar Harbor Club in Bar Harbor.