Jamie Bechtel is the Co-Founder and a Board Member of New Course. She stepped down from her role as CEO in 2017 and currently serves as an adviser to the new leadership at New Course.
Jamie 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 was an advisor to the Clinton Global Initiative and was recently honored in Fast Company Magazine as 1 of 60 women heroes. 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. She lives in Seattle with her one husband, two children, dog, chickens, and ducks (not necessarily listed in order of importance).