Niels Crone

 Executive Director, CI Consulting

Niels is the Executive Director of CI Consulting, a new venture that Conservation International (CI) launched in collaboration with Blu Skye in 2014. He works with consulting partners to bring natural capital sustainability into corporate agendas.  Niels combines his past consulting experience with his knowledge of conservation issue to lead CI’s effort to demonstrate that managing the ecosystems in a sustainable manner is in the self-interest of business leaders.


Niels was hired as Conservation International’s Chief Financial Officer and Senior Vice President for Finance and Administration in 2002.  In this capacity, Niels was directly responsible for CI’s worldwide financial operations and served as the organization’s treasurer.  In 2003, Niels was promoted to Executive Vice President for Finance, Human Resources, and Administration.  Under his leadership, CI streamlined its financial and administrative processes, strengthened its financial and risk management capabilities, and further built its international operations infrastructure. In 2004, Niels was further promoted to Chief Operations Officer and was directly responsible for all of CI’s operations and legal functions.  In this role, he continued to secure strong and effective management of CI’s resources by fully integrating the support functions with CI’s program activities.  He also served as the financial and human resources liaison to the CEO, the Board, and key donors.  In 2008, Niels was promoted to Chief Operating Officer.  He provided strategic leadership for Conservation International’s programs and ensured the alignment of the organization’s program and operational functions.


Niels has over 30 years of experience in the for-profit and non-profit sectors.  His private industry background comes from almost 10 years as a consultant with McKinsey & Company, and from direct operations experience as the Chief Operating Officer of The Global Steel Exchange, and as Director of Risk Management at CapitalOne.  Niels’ non-profit and conservation experience comes from six years of employment with The Nature Conservancy first as its Chief Financial Officer and later as its Chief Operations Officer.


Niels’ areas of expertise are in corporate finance, business & risk management strategies, product development, and marketing & analysis.  He is an active member of the conservation community and helps shape its thinking about key strategic and operational issues facing our conservation efforts.  Niels earned a M.B.A. from UCLA Anderson School of Management and a M.Sc. Economics from the University of Copenhagen.