Jamie Bechtel is the Co-Founder and CEO of New Course and is a highly regarded leader in international conservation and development efforts. Her work has led to strategic advances in the fields of natural resource management, poverty reduction, sustainable finance, and biology. Jamie is an advisor to the Clinton Global Initiative and was recently honored in Fast Company Magazine as 1 of 60 women heroes. She is represented by the prestigious National Geographic Speakers Bureau. She has appeared in prominent venues such as the Aspen Ideas Festival, the Clinton Annual Meeting, and the Club de Madrid.  She is a lecturer at University of Washington’s School of Law.  Jamie has a Ph.D. from Boston University and a law degree from Boston College.

Before founding New Course, Jamie worked for seven years at Conservation International (CI).  During her tenure at CI, Jamie worked in over 30 countries including such diverse areas as Latin and South America, Madagascar, Polynesia, Mexico, Sub-Saharan Africa, South-East Asia and Melanesia among others.  Through her work, Jamie has tackled complex issues such as mitigating destructive fishing practice, improving legal and policy frameworks, increasing enforcement efforts, developing market based solutions, improving community engagement, and ensuring scalability of projects. 

While Jamie has had the privilege of working with world leaders, CEO’s of major multi-national corporations, and esteemed academic scholars; the opportunities that Jamie most highly values stem from her on the ground experiences.  It is Jamie’s work with fisherfolk, farmers, community leaders and men, women, and children in villages and communities around the world that has fundamentally shaped Jamie’s ethic and her approach to conservation and development.

Through her research and field experience, Jamie began to realize the important need to include women in conservation and development strategies, strategies that typically exclude women.  This realization led Jamie to step down from her role at CI and reengage in conservation and poverty alleviation through the development of an exciting new not-for-profit organization called New Course. New Course focuses on engaging women in the development of solutions that simultaneously address poverty and environmental degradation.

You can follow Jamie on Twitter @NEW_Course.

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