Cynthia Renfro

Principal & CEO, Civis Consulting, LLC, Strategic Philanthropy

I was five years old in 1973 when the Endangered Species Act was passed. At the time, one of my favorite shows was Mutual of Omaha’s “Wild Kingdom.” That’s where I first heard about extinction. It was a devastating thought: That because of people (like me and my parents and brothers), certain animals were completely disappearing from the planet.

Without the Endangered Species Act and the work of ESC, the wild eagles that sometimes land in my yard near Seward Park in Seattle would have died out in the 1960s. 

As an adult, I have been privileged to have a career in philanthropy and to support conservation and justice in the natural world. My first job in philanthropy brought me into close contact with Brock Evans and the Endangered Species Coalition (ESC). Without the Endangered Species Act and the work of ESC, the wild eagles that sometimes land in my yard near Seward Park in Seattle would have died out in the 1960s. California Condors would only exist in captivity, as might the gray wolf, the black-footed ferret, the Peregrine falcon, and a number of other endangered animals. I think the Endangered Species Act is one of the most important pieces of legislation ever passed. It helps us honor our responsibility as stewards of the planet, and keep wild places intact so that everyone can thrive