All Posts

Catalina Island Conservancy Announces Appointment of Whitney Latorre as President and Chief Executive Officer


Latorre brings unique experience as media executive; from nonprofit organizations and higher education

The Board of Directors of the Catalina Island Conservancy (CIC) announced today the appointment of Whitney Latorre as President and Chief Executive Officer. The appointment culminates an extensive search for a new leader of the nonprofit organization, which is dedicated to the responsible stewardship of Santa Catalina Island through conservation, education, and recreation.

With a passion for telling stories that matter, Latorre brings unique experience as an internationally recognized storyteller and educator, and as a dynamic innovator and leader to Catalina Island Conservancy. She joins the organization from National Geographic, part of The Walt Disney Company, where she led the charge to illuminate the wonder of the world as Vice President and Executive Director of Visuals. Latorre directed the organization’s award-winning visual content, twice recognized as a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize; collaborated on initiatives to increase the organization’s digital audience and engagement; spearheaded innovative projects in new media; and championed collaborations with For Freedoms, NASA, Rolex, and other stakeholders.

“We are confident that Whitney Latorre’s arrival will invigorate our team, inspire innovative strategies, and help us achieve even greater success and recognition in our vital work,” said Chair of the Board of Directors and Acting President and CEO Will Hagenah. Please join us in welcoming Whitney to the Catalina Island Conservancy team. Together, we look forward to continuing to foster a beautifully functioning Island ecosystem for all to enjoy.”

Her appointment marks an exciting new chapter for the organization as it embarks on several major initiatives to conserve the Island’s biodiversity and unique ecosystem, promote sustainable tourism, and expand its reach. Her experience in media and communications will be instrumental in achieving the organization’s strategic goals and engaging with the broader community.

“With its unique ecosystem, bold conservation mission, and strong board, Catalina Island Conservancy is well positioned to further its mission for the next 50 years and to make this living laboratory a replicable model for other island ecosystems around the world,” said Latorre. “I am honored to take on this leadership role at the Conservancy and look forward to collaborating with the board to extend our impact as a global model for environmental conservation.”

Earlier in her career, Latorre was the director of photography at The New Yorker, where she led initiatives with various stakeholders, including documenting more than 100 heads of state at the United Nations and earning a Peabody in collaboration with Human Rights Watch. She also played a pivotal role in advancing the public profile of The New Yorker across digital and social platforms. She began her career working in advocacy and communications at the Open Society Foundations.

She has industry leadership experience as an adjunct professor at Columbia Journalism School and New York University’s Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute; as inaugural Chair, Environment of the World Press Photo Contest in 2018 and as Global Chair of the World Press Photo Contest in 2019; and through her continued service on the advisory board of The Alexia at Syracuse University Newhouse School of Public Communications. She received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Barnard College at Columbia University.

Latorre will begin her role with Catalina Island Conservancy in July, and is relocating with her family to the Los Angeles area from Washington, D.C.



For more information, contact Sr. Communications Manager Jessica Boudevin at [email protected] or at 562.437.8555 x1230