Biography

Jon Paul Rodríguez

Current positions

Jon Paul Rodríguez is Principal Investigator at the Venezuelan Institute for Scientific Research (IVIC), and is one of the founders and current President of Provita (www.provita.org.ve). Since 2009 he is also Deputy Chair of the Species Survival Commission (SSC) of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

Education

Bachelor of Science in Biology, graduated from Universidad Central de Venezuela (1991), masters, doctorate and certificate from the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University (1996, 1999 and 2000, respectively).

Experience at IUCN

Jon Paul joined IUCN in 1991, when he affiliated to the Captive Breeding Specialist Group (now called Conservation Breeding Specialist Group). He has been active at SSC ever since, especially after 1996 when he started working with national red lists, which eventually led to his appointment as Chair of the National Red List Working Group between 2003 and 2009.

In 2009 he was named Deputy Chair of SSC and theme leader of the Red List of Ecosystems Working Group of the Commission for Ecosystem Management. He currently dedicates around 80% of his time to activities related to IUCN, mainly addressed at the development of the Species Strategic Plan 2017-2020, CITES, the Green List of Species and Ecosystems, the Red List of Ecosystems, interactions with sponsors and attending Council meetings.

During his time with IUCN, Jon Paul has acquired a deep understanding about the Union. He has worked extensively with the Secretariat, the Commissions and IUCN Members. He has also participated in all World Conservation Congresses held since 1996.

Planning and management experience

Jon Paul has been successful on fundraising, project management and as group leader, completing numerous initiatives as part of IUCN, IVIC and Provita. He has led more than 30 projects in areas such as biodiversity research, recovery of threatened species, ecosystem restoration, national and regional red list assessments of species and ecosystems, capacity building and development of guidelines for public policies related to conservation, among others. To achieve these he has built alliances with multiple organizations such as: Ecosystem Alliance, a consortium of IUCN National Committee of the Netherlands, Wetlands International and Both ENDS, Whitley Fund for Nature, Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, MAVA Fondation pour la Nature, Smithsonian Institution, EcoHealth Alliance, UICN Sur, Loro Parque Fundación, Chicago Zoological Society, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Observatorio Nacional de Ciencia Tecnología and Fulbright Scholarships, among others.

Capacities to become SSC Chair

Jon Paul is fluent in English and Spanish, moves comfortably between cultures, is a good public speaker and is globally well-connected at a professional level. He has shown outstanding skills in the coordination of multiple stakeholders and group leadership.

If he gets elected, he would establish his headquarters in Caracas, at Provita’s office (which they own and where their ~15 employees are based), where he would establish his support team. Jon Paul would also strive to create a training node on red lists at IVIC, capitalizing its institutional policy of providing full scholarships to all graduate students.

Jon Paul is also committed to continue the work carried by SSC under Simon Stuart’s lead; not only is he working closely with Simon, he has also initiated dialogue with current staff to explore their interests and prospects to continue at the Chair Office of SSC.

He has also started to discuss with current and potential sponsors the possibility of funding SSC’s activities beyond 2016.

Publications

Author or co-author in more than 160 publications, including scientific peer-reviewed articles in international journals such as: Nature, Science, Biodiversity and Conservation, Biological Conservation, Biotropica, Conservation Biology, Diversity and Distributions, Ecological Applications,Ecology and Society, Environmental Conservation, Oryx and Revista de Biología Tropical. He is also co-author of four editions of the Red Book of Venezuelan Fauna (1995, 1999, 2008 and 2015) and the Red Book of Venezuelan Terrestrial Ecosystems (2010).

Awards

In 2003, Jon Paul received the Whitley Award for Bird Conservation.

In 2005 he was chosen by Junior Chamber International Zulia as one of the Outstanding Young Persons in environmental achievements (18-40 years of age).

In 2007 received the National Award to Best Work on Science, Technology and Innovation, category Natural Sciences (shared with Jennifer K. Balch and Kathryn M. Rodríguez-Clark), granted by the Venezuelan Ministry of Science and Technology.

In 2010, the Society for Conservation Biology granted him the Award to Distinguished Service.

In 2013 he received the Premio Fundación Empresas Polar “Lorenzo Mendoza Fleury”, the major award provided by a private institution to distinguished Venezuelan scientists.

Download