Shawn Cantrell headshot

Shawn Cantrell

Vice President of Species Conservation & Coexistence
Species Conservation and Coexistence
Washington, DC

Areas of Expertise: Gray wolves, northern spotted owls, marbled murrelets, pacific salmon, Endangered Species Act, habitat conservation planning 

Shawn oversees the work of Defenders in the field. He has spent more than 20 years working on wildlife and public lands conservation, first as Northwest Regional Director of Friends of the Earth and later as Executive Director of Seattle Audubon Society. His advocacy and leadership was instrumental to the passage and implementation of the federal Elwha River Restoration Act, leading to the removal of the two dams on Washington’s Elwha River. Most recently, Shawn has worked together with government agencies and private landowners to protect and restore forest habitat vital for the recovery of threatened northern spotted owls and marbled murrelets. 

Shawn earned a B.A. in Political Science from Gonzaga University as well as certificate in Non-Profit Leadership from the University of Washington’s Evans School of Public Affairs.  He previously served as a board member of the Save Our Wild Salmon Coalition, the Northwest Energy Coalition, and the Washington State Audubon Conservation Committee.