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Sonoma County-based climate research group hires USDA exec as CEO

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Manuel “Mani” Oliva has been hired as the CEO of Petaluma-based Point Blue Conservation Science, a 54-year-old nonprofit organization focused on “climate-smart conservation science work.”

Oliva joins the organization from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the group stated, where he served as acting director within the Foreign Agricultural Service. In the past, Mani has held leadership positions with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Conservation International and Washington, D.C.

As the director of U.S. climate policy for Conservation International, Oliva organized coalitions of private sector and civil society partners, such as American Electric Power, Dell Computers and the Environmental Defense Fund, to strengthen climate change advocacy efforts and develop low-carbon business practices with strong social safeguards.

Point Blue stated the organization has 160 scientists, including California locations such as field stations in Bolinas and on the Farallon Islands.

Sea level rise, monitoring marine ecosystems and working with farmers and ranchers to implement conservation solutions are among its projects.

Most recently, the organization was led by former CEO Ellie Cohen, who held the post for 20 years and announced that she was leaving in 2018, according to Point Blue.

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