Jamie Bechtel is the Co-Founder and CEO of New Course and is a highly regarded leader in
international conservation. Her work has led to strategic advances in the fields of conservation,
sustainable finance, and biology.
Before founding New Course, Jamie worked for seven years at Conservation International
(CI). During her tenure at CI, Jamie worked in over 20 countries including such diverse areas
as Ecuador, Costa Rica, Madagascar, Fiji, Mexico, Indonesia, South Africa, and Papua New
Guinea among many 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 is focused on changing the course of women’s
lives through conservation and sustainable development.
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 and 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. She lives in Seattle with
her one husband, two children, two dogs and eight chickens (not necessarily listed in order of