Carlton N. Owen


Carlton Owen of Greenville, SC, the President & CEO of the Endowment since its inception in 2006, has for 40 years been at the forefront of conservation innovation. A forester and wildlife biologist, Owen holds a B.S. degree in forestry and M.S. in wildlife ecology from Mississippi State University. For six years he led his consultancy, The Environmental Edge, LLC, in “bringing business and the environment together” to benefit both. He is a former Executive Director of the Sustainable Forestry Board, Inc. and Vice President – Forest Policy, Champion International Corporation. He has held positions with the American Forest Institute, American Forest Council; American Forest Foundation; Potlatch Corporation; and Mississippi Wildlife Federation. Among his achievements is “Acres for America” — a first-of-its-kind program to off-set development acre-for-acre with conservation. The program linked the National Fish & Wildlife Foundation, where Owen served as Vice Chairman of the Board, with Walmart in a $35-million, ten-year commitment that has already helped conserve nearly 1,000,000 acres in the U.S. and was renewed in 2016 for another ten years.  He has served on a vast array of boards, advisory councils, and commissions.  He is currently a member of the Board of Directors of the Greater Greenville Parks Foundation, SynTerra Corporation, and CEI Capital Management. Among Owen’s many recognitions is the Order of the Palmetto, South Carolina’s highest civilian award.

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