Dr. Vince McElhinny

Senior Director of Social Policy and Practice Department at Conservation International

Vince McElhinny is Senior Director of Social Policy and Practice Department at Conservation International, leading SPP’s efforts to mainstream a rights-based approach to conservation. With SPP, Vince promotes the tools, training, networking and expert advice that supports CI programs in seeking the full and effective participation of our partners, equitable sharing of the benefits of conserving and sustainably developing our natural resources, and respect for the cultural practices and contributions of the world’s communities most directly connected to nature. Vince brings expertise on indigenous land rights, results-based programming, safeguard policies, and monitoring and evaluation.

Vince joined CI in 2015 with over two decades of experience in research, capacity building and advocacy for the protection of rights, including effective participation, transparency, and public accountability in all development policy and finance. Prior to joining CI, Vince was Senior Policy Advisor at the Bank Information Center, leading analysis and advocacy to reform the World Bank safeguard policies and in benchmarking industry standards for social and environmental risk management. Between 2006 and 2012, he led a multi-country program, Building Informed Civic Engagement for Conservation in the Andes-Amazon (BICECA), which focused on building local capacity to assess social and environmental risks and advocate for sustainable change in the context of large regional infrastructure and extractives projects. He holds a Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Pittsburgh and has conducted extensive field work in Latin America on community empowerment, safeguard policies, inequality and sustainable development. After receiving an undergraduate degree from Carnegie-Mellon University in Civil Engineering, Vince worked for a number of years in the private sector. Vince has consulted with numerous foundations, the United Nations and other multilateral agencies.