External Advisory Board
Bob Taylor co–founded Taylor Guitars in 1974 and has grown the company into the leading global builder of premium acoustic guitars.Renowned for blending modern, innovative manufacturing techniqueswith a master of craftsman’s attention to detail, Taylor guitars are widelyconsidered among the best–sounding and easiest to play in the world.The company was a pioneer in the use of computer mills, lasers, andother high–tech tools and proprietary machinery, and today, Bob Tayloris widely recognized throughout the musical instrument industry as thevisionary acoustic guitar manufacturer.
In addition to its forward–thinking approach to guitar design andmanufacturing, Taylor has applied that same approach to its woodsourcing and environmental sustainability initiatives. Taylor himself isdedicated to the pursuit of best practices in forest management, newmodels of reforestation, and bringing ethically harvested tonewoods tomarket. He is heavily involved in efforts to improve the sustainability ofCameroonian ebony, and provided a gift of $400,000 to UCLA tosupport research at CBI.
Recently retired as Vice President for Research, Conservation, andExploration at the National Geographic Society, John Francis’professional career is rooted in wildlife biology and promotion ofhuman understanding of their delicate position within nature. Outsideof his National Geographic Society responsibilities, Francis served onboards and committees for the US National Park System, theCommission for Education and Communication of the IUCN, andthe US National Commission for UNESCO. In addition, he serves onthe Board of Sustainable Travel International and is a key promoter ofcitizen science through BioBlitzes, now expanding in popularity. HisPh.D. in behavioral ecology and postdoctoral research at theSmithsonian Institution, as well as representation of more than tenthousand grantees funded by the National Geographic Society aroundthe world, one seventh of them in Africa, provide a broadunderstanding of conservation and research programsglobally. Francis’ close work with the media, six years as a filmproducer for National Geographic, and combination of science andstorytelling at this institution, give him a unique appreciation ofchange–making central to conservation organizations. These diverseexperiences position Francis to expand the reach and efficacy of keyinstitutions poised to empower conservation action worldwide.