Crane Festival


Crane Festival speakers

2017 Speakers

(The list of speakers will be updated periodically as arrangements are finalized.)

Featured Presenters:

Jane Alexander

Jane Alexander is an actress, a writer, and a conservationist. She chaired the National Endowment for the Arts under President Clinton from 1993-97. Her chronicle of those turbulent years, Command Performance, An Actress in the Theatre of Politics, was a New York Times Notable Book in 2000.

Jane, a Tony Award winner, has performed in over a hundred plays on Broadway, off-Broadway, London, and in regional theatres nationwide. She was inducted into the Theatre Hall of Fame in 1994. Her long film career includes four Academy Award nominations: The Great White Hope, All The President’s Men, Kramer vs. Kramer, and Testament. In over 40 television movies she has been honored with two Emmys, for the roles of Alma Rose in Playing For Time and Sara Delano Roosevelt in Warm Springs. Other award winning roles were as Eleanor Roosevelt, Calamity Jane, Georgia O’Keeffe, and Hedda Hopper. In Canada, she recently appeared in the celebrated TV series The Book of Negroes, and in the series Forgive Me, for which she won the ACTRA Maritimes Award.

Jane is a noted speaker who has received honorary degrees from many colleges and universities.

A dedicated conservationist and birder, Jane was a Trustee of the Wildlife Conservation Society, a board member of the American Bird Conservancy, the American Birding Association, and a Commissioner of New York State Parks. She currently sits on the board of the National Audubon Society, the Global Advisory Group of BirdLife International, and the Conservation Council of Panthera.

In 2012 the Indianapolis Prize inaugurated the Jane Alexander Global Wildlife Ambassador Award, and Jane was its first recipient. Her book Wild Things, Wild Places about her travels with field biologists the past 35 years was published by Knopf in September 2016.  

Iliana Peña - Director of Conservation, Audubon Texas

Iliana serves as Director of Conservation of Audubon Texas, bringing her 15-years’ experience in project management and partner collaboration and synergy to Audubon Texas’s Conservation Initiatives.  She has spent the last 7 years overseeing coastal and grassland bird initiatives including management and restoration of critical habitat for guilds of bird species including but not limited to colonial waterbird and grassland birds. Iliana serves on various regional and state conservation and water boards working to advocate for conservation-focused policies that support the Audubon’s mission and conservation goals.

Before this, Iliana was Director of Conservation Education for Audubon Texas. Of her many responsibilities, she helped Audubon educators throughout Texas align their education programs with state and national education standards, and she has brought diverse audiences to the conservation field through college and high school internships for students not traditionally represented in the field of conservation.

She also worked as the first Center Director of Mitchell Lake Audubon Center in San Antonio, TX. Iliana believes that the greatest conservation efforts are accomplished through educating and involving as many of the right people and partners as possible.

Matt Anderson - Vice President of Climate Change, National Audubon Society

Matthew began serving as Vice President of Audubon's Climate Initiative in September 2015. He joined Audubon in the spring of 2013 as the executive director of Audubon Minnesota. While serving as a state director, Matthew was one of the original members of the four-member work group that developed Audubon's Climate Initiative. He brings a wealth of experience in constituency building, grassroots mobilization, campaign planning, fundraising, and program development. Matthew has a rich background working with diverse communities on climate change issues with nearly a decade of experience working with the religious community in particular.

Matthew graduated from Dartmouth College with a B. A. in environmental studies and was awarded the Downy Family Prize. Midwest Energy News recognized Matthew as one of their “40 under 40” clean energy leaders in 2016.

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