Arizona Wilderness Coalition logo  







September 6, 2012

Veteran of Audubon and The Nature Conservancy to Head Arizona's

Leading Wilderness Advocacy Organization

Les Corey brings more than 35 years of conservation policy, fundraising, and program management to Arizona Wilderness Coalition.


                    Kate Mackay, Arizona Wilderness Coalition: 602-571-2603

                    Don Hoffman, AWC Board President: 928-339-4426

PHOENIX—The Arizona Wilderness Coalition (AWC) today announced that Les Corey has been appointed as its new Executive Director.  A passionate conservationist, Corey brings more than 35 years of leadership experience to the organization, specializing in bold land conservation strategies, ground-breaking policy initiatives, capital campaign fundraising, and forging innovative partnerships and coalition-building at local, regional, and national levels.

“We are ecstatic that Les has availed himself at this time to lead AWC," says Don Hofffman, president of AWC's Board. "Les is a legend in the conservation community where he has consistently led national organizations through periods of unprecedented growth and extraordinary achievement.  After fulfilling so many of his professional goals, he has consciously chosen to return to his passion—connecting with land and people, and directing grassroots efforts to protect our wildest places."

Throughout his career, Corey has pursued a broad range of conservation and environmental goals across diverse geographies and with budgets ranging from $200K to $60 million. During his recent 11 year tenure with the National Audubon Society, Mr. Corey held four senior level positions—all based out of Tucson—in which he was primarily responsible for building Audubon state programs nationwide, including launching Audubon Arizona.

In 2003, Corey was appointed Chief Field Operations Officer, responsible for overseeing all of Audubon’s field operations, including its 26 state programs, 50 Audubon centers, and 432 independent chapters across the United States. Early in his career, Mr. Corey served as executive director of the New Hampshire Audubon Society for four years and the Connecticut Audubon Society for six years—both of which were independent of his term with the National Audubon Society. 

Prior to his leadership position with National Audubon, Corey also held positions with The Nature Conservancy for 15 years, serving as vice president and executive director of the Connecticut and Arizona chapters.  As Executive Director of the Arizona Nature Conservancy from 1996 to 2001, Corey and the Arizona Board of Directors launched the Wild Arizona Campaign protecting more than 100,000 acres of critical wild lands and raising more than $35 million in public and private funds.

“AWC has an impressive record of success and the threats to Arizona’s wildest public lands and waters are as great today as ever in our state’s history,” says Corey.  “I am excited by the opportunity to work with the diverse array of communities, organizations, and agencies using and managing our public lands to ensure that Arizona’s wildest landscapes are protected and restored to the highest achievable conservation standards.”

“Applying the most accurate landscape level natural resource information available to the public process of identifying and ensuring the protection and appropriate stewardship of our wildest lands and waters has always been engaging and rewarding for me.  I look forward to working across the state to help build on AWC’s strong record of accomplishments,” says Corey.

He holds a degree in forest policy from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, and a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Biology from the University of Southern Connecticut.

Mr. Corey will be based in AWC’s Tucson office and assumes his duties on October 15.  At that time he can be reached at


The Arizona Wilderness Coalition’s mission is to permanently protect and restore wilderness and other wild lands and waters in Arizona for the enjoyment of all citizens and to ensure that Arizona's native plants and animals have a lasting home in wild nature.



-Arizona Wilderness Coalition mission statement