Medellín, Colombia – Fundación ProAves, a leader in the protection of threatened birds and biodiversity in Colombia, announced today that Sara Inés Lara has been appointed Executive Director.
In this role, Sara will build on ProAves’ two decades of conservation success and lead the next phase of the organization’s growth and conservation impact.
Sara Inés Lara is Colombian with indigenous ancestry and has almost two decades of conservation experience across Colombia and Latin America, working closely with local communities and conservation organizations to develop and manage conservation initiatives. In 2019, Sara was recognized as one of 100 Great Latin American women of the century and her biography was published by Billiken, giving recognition to her life story as a conservationist and her quest to protect endangered species and their habitats. Her story inspires and encourages us to save our planet.
Sara was actually the first Executive Director of ProAves from February 2003 to 2009 when she oversaw the transformation of ProAves from an amateur small group of bird conservationists to an effective professional conservation organization with over 60 full-time staff, producing lasting impacts to protect birds and their habitats across Colombia. She grew ProAves from four projects to manage and supervise over 150 projects through this period with over 70 donors and partners. Sara had originally stepped back into the role as temporary part-time Executive Director this past February in order to help reorganize and restructure the organization, but the Board unanimously acted to permanently appoint her to this role.
Sara graduated from the University of Cauca, Popayan as an engineer and worked in major infrastructure projects with Halliburton, such as the UK Channel Tunnel Rail Link. Sara then went on to manage Fundación ProAves in Colombia in 2003 before joining American Bird Conservancy in 2009 to become the Vice President of International Programs.
“Sara is a true conservation leader with decades of experience and a long commitment to ProAves’ mission to Save Birds and their Habitats in Colombia,” said ProAves Board Director and Founder, Pablo Florez. “And the Board is delighted that she has agreed to return after eleven distinguished years working with major international conservation organizations. Her leadership, enthusiasm and dedication have inspired real conservation action for Colombia.”
“With rapidly escalating threats to the birds and biodiversity of Colombia there is no more important time than now to scale up conservation actions,” said Sara Inés Lara, “So I’m proud to return to lead ProAves to once again advance our great mission to assist local and indigenous communities and protect our unique natural heritage. While these are challenging times, I intend to scale-up ProAves as a leading conservation entity in the America’s, run by and led by Colombians, for Colombians to protect our amazing natural treasures.”
Sara’s principal interests include preventing extinctions, working with local communities, migratory birds, women’s empowerment, and climate change.