Don Barry – Bequest

"I have always wanted the bequests in my will to support the causes I care deeply about, and I care deeply about the wildlife conservation mission of Defenders," explains Don Barry, who became Defenders' executive vice president in June 2011.

Prior to coming onboard, Don had already spent almost four decades defending imperiled wildlife and working on public land conservation issues as a senior official in government agencies and several conservation organizations.

"I grew up in a family of outdoor enthusiasts and wildlife advocates, so dedicating my professional career to wildlife conservation was one of the easiest decisions I've ever made," says Don. "Hearing a wolf howl when I was a young boy on a canoe trip in the Boundary Waters in Northern Minnesota was as magical then as it is today."

During Don's tenure as assistant secretary for fish, wildlife and parks at the U.S. Department of the Interior during the Clinton administration, he oversaw the policies and budgets of the National Park Service and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, where he worked closely with Defenders' President Jamie Rappaport Clark, then-director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

"Jamie and I have been colleagues for almost 30 years, so getting a chance to work directly with her at Interior was the high point of my service there. After we both left government, we always wanted another chance to work together, so when she phoned and asked me to join her team at Defenders, I said 'sign me up'."

As Defenders' executive vice president, Don knows first-hand how Defenders maximizes the impact of every dollar that it receives, and says he can think of no better recipient for the majority of his estate.

As a member of our Wildlife Legacy Society, Don says, "This is truly an example of making a lifetime investment in what I believe in, and I believe in Defenders' vision for protecting America's most imperiled wildlife."

Let Us Know


Let Us Know

Bequests left to Defenders are crucial to our ability to protect imperiled species and their habitats for generations to come. Have you included Defenders in your will or other estate plans?