Sara Walker is the Senior Advisor on Wildlife Trafficking at the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). Prior to joining AZA, Sara was the Executive Director of the U.S. Wildlife Trafficking Alliance (USWTA), until a merger was announced in 2018 that AZA and USWTA would be joining forces to combat wildlife trafficking. As the Senior Advisor on Wildlife Trafficking, Sara will continue to lead the efforts of the USWTA and also work closely with AZA members on wildlife trafficking issues.
Prior to leading the USWTA, Sara was the Director of Wildlife at The Humane Society of the United States, leading two national campaigns that focused on fur-free fashion and lead-free initiatives. Under her leadership, the fur-free campaign educated the luxury fashion industry about cruelty-free alternatives and exposed rampant false labeling of “faux” products; and the lead-free campaign raised awareness about lead-based ammunition and sought state and federal policies to adopt stricter environmental standards for hunting and fishing equipment.
From 2010-2014, Sara was responsible for a variety of domestic and international energy and climate initiatives at the United Nations Foundation, serving most recently as the Associate Director of Global Outreach on a global climate science communications project around the release of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Fifth Assessment Report. In these roles, Sara led outreach activities across a broad range of global and domestic stakeholders; and developed comprehensive policy and campaign strategies that sought to change public opinion and influence policymakers.
Sara also has extensive experience working on environmental and natural resource policy at the state legislative level, in addition to state political campaign management experience. An Oregon native, Sara earned her MA in International Relations from the University of San Diego and her BA in International Studies from the University of Oregon. She also holds an AA in Flight Technology and is a certified commercial pilot.