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Betty White. Credit: courtesy of TV Land.

Comedy legend and ardent conservationist Betty White takes on new role

Posted on: 26.06.13 (Last edited) 26 June 2013

Renowned actress joins Fauna & Flora International as Honorary Director.

Actress, author, comedy legend and animal lover Betty White has expanded her lifelong dedication to wildlife as she embarks on her new role as Honorary Director of Fauna & Flora International (FFI). An ardent conservationist her entire life, Betty wishes to use her new affiliation with FFI to reach a wide audience with an urgent message of maintaining the synergistic balance of wildlife and habitat.

Betty White remains deeply concerned about the increasing pressures on our planet and hopes to get more people involved in appreciating and caring for nature. Using her mantle as FFI Honorary Director, Betty plans to discuss the value of healthy ecosystems and maintaining an equilibrium in nature so that wildlife populations can thrive in their natural habitats.

“It is a privilege to be associated with Fauna & Flora International. Conservation of wildlife and wild places requires serious attention, care and action. I look forward to deepening my engagement with FFI to get more people involved in wildlife and natural habitat conservation,” said Betty White.

With a career spanning more than 60 years, and lifetime achievement awards from the Television Critics Association, the U.S. Forest Service and the Jane Goodall Institute, among others, Betty is not only one of the funniest and busiest actresses in Hollywood, but has also been named the world’s Most Trusted Celebrity. Betty now brings that spirit and energy to her new role as Honorary Director for the world’s longest-running international conservation organisation, Fauna & Flora International, which was established in 1903 and works in over 40 countries globally.

Introduced to FFI by Karen Winnick, FFI Board Member and President of the Board of Commissioners for Los Angeles Zoo, Betty’s trademark warmth and passion have graced FFI events and benefited projects over the years.

“Betty White is my hero, the embodiment of loving kindness and respect for all living things,” Winnick said. “Thank you, Betty, for your support of FFI and for all the good you do in the world.”

Betty is supportive of FFI and shares its mission and scientific focus. Through the Morris Animal Foundation, an animal health research foundation to which Betty has been devoted to since 1971, Betty funded important FFI investigations into the sudden death of over 12,000 Critically Endangered saiga antelope across Eurasian rangeland habitat in 2010. The Los Angeles Zoo, another of Betty’s long-time affiliations, has provided critical support to FFI’s Asian elephant and forest conservation efforts in Cambodia for over a decade.

Comedy legend and conservationist Betty White. Credit: FFI.

Comedy legend and conservationist Betty White (Left) with FFI Board Member Karen Winnick (centre) and FFI Executive Director Katie Frohardt. Credit: FFI.

Katie Frohardt, FFI Executive Director said, “I am delighted to welcome Betty White to the Fauna & Flora International Board. Her relentless passion for wildlife conservation serves as the best reminder of our collective responsibility to save wildlife in their natural habitats. As Honorary Director, Betty will share her life-long love story with animals while drawing more people to further appreciate the symbiotic relationship between wildlife and wild places. We couldn’t be happier or more grateful.”

The seven-time Emmy Award winner has created unforgettable roles in television and film, authored seven books and won numerous awards. She’s used her profile to speak up for causes close to her heart. Recently named Chairman of the Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association, Betty has served on the board since 1974 and as a Zoo Commissioner for eight years. In 2006, White was honored by the City of Los Angeles at the Los Angeles Zoo as ‘Ambassador to the Animals’ for her lifelong work for animal welfare.

Betty won her first Emmy Award in 1952, in her inaugural comedy show, Life with Elizabeth. Six more followed for roles on The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Just Men, The Golden Girls and The John Larroquette Show. Her guest appearance on Saturday Night Live in 2010, which also received an Emmy, was one of the highest-rated episodes in the show’s history. Betty has won back-to-back Screen Actors Guild Awards for her recent role on Hot in Cleveland; she is also Executive Producer and Host of the NBC series Off Their Rockers. Prior to embarking on her illustrious career as an actress, Betty had aspired to become a zookeeper or a forest ranger.

Written by
Nav Dayanand

Nav brings over eight years of experience to FFI on a wide range of public policy, strategic engagement and management issues. Prior to joining FFI, Nav served as the Assistant Director of Federal Affairs for the Wildlife Conservation Society where he was responsible for legislative and policy analysis, federal appropriations advocacy and outreach on global conservation policy initiatives at U.S. government agencies and multilateral institutions. With an LL.M from Cornell Law School, Nav brings to FFI a unique skill set and broad experience in the conservation and non-profit sectors. Nav serves as a key member of the FFI US team with his strong legal, public policy and management skills. In 2010, Nav completed a two-year leadership programme called the Emerging Wildlife Conservation Leaders. He currently serves on the executive board of Cornell Law School’s Alumni Association. Nav grew up in Bangalore, India with a love for nature and wildlife.

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It is a privilege to be associated with Fauna & Flora International. Conservation of wildlife and wild places requires serious attention, care and action. I look forward to deepening my engagement with FFI to get more people involved in wildlife and natural habitat conservation

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Fauna & Flora International (FFI) is a company limited by guarantee, incorporated in England and Wales, Registered Company Number 2677068. Registered Charity Number 1011102
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