Michael Despines is the Snow Leopard Trust’s New Executive Director

Michael Despines is an accomplished nonprofit leader with extensive professional experience in international development. As an avid conservationist and passionate photographer, he has also been dedicating himself for many years to inspire others to respect and appreciate the natural world.

The SLT's new Executive Director, Michael Despines
The SLT’s new Executive Director, Michael Despines

Working with a wide range of international development and aid organizations, Michael has helped communities around the world become more sustainable. Starting immediately, he will be leading the Snow Leopard Trust’s international team of scientists, conservationists, and operations professionals in their efforts to partner with local communities in snow leopard habitat and protect the endangered cat.

“I’m excited to have the opportunity to combine my passion for wildlife conservation and my experience in the world of sustainable community development at the Trust”, Michael Despines says.

Michael holds a B.S in Electrical Engineering, a B.A. in General Arts and Science, and a Masters in International Management. He is fluent in French and English and has worked in or visited over 30 countries.

For more details on his background, see Michael Despines CV.


  1. Congratulations and welcome to snow leopard community Michael Despines. What an awesome background in conservation you bring to the SL Trust and our precious species. I look forward to working together and wish you all the best success in this wonderful role.
    Sibylle Noras
    Melbourne, Australia

  2. I contribute monthly and need to update my credit card ASAP .
    Cannot find a pathway to do this or contact you, please email me ASAP.

  3. Just wanted to give you a kick in the right direction if you EVER thought what you are doing isn’t worth it. YOU are the BEST !!!!
    Don’t let these beauties disappear forever.
    Thank you for your efforts, the world needs more like YOU.
    Love, peace out.
    Ray Vatcher

  4. Congratulations, Mike!! It’s been a long road from room 117 at HHS…from my English class to PSU to Peace Corps in Gabon to more education in NH to the DRC and on beyond that. I can only imagine how you feel about this new position…but I know you will love it and make a positive difference as you have for so many years. I am proud to have had a (very) minor role in helping to develop who you have been/are.

  5. mr despines.i received the email regarding trip to mongolia for the snow leopards,reluctanly I am in a wheel chair,i have been for about 5 years now,i would like to take the trip with you hopefully next year, lord willing to be on your next adventure, keep me in the loop for possibly next year

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