Neal Wilkins is President and CEO of the East Foundation, where he is responsible for leading its mission of promoting land stewardship through ranching, science, and education. With Headquarters in San Antonio, the East Foundation owns and operates about 218,000 acres of South Texas ranchland where scientists and managers work together to address issues important to wildlife management, rangeland health, and ranch productivity.
He has more than 30 years of experience in research and conservation across the private lands of Texas, Tennessee, Florida, Washington, New Zealand, and Oregon. His primary focus has been habitat management and conservation of land, water, and wildlife resources on native rangelands and commercial forestland. His work integrates science, management, policy and economics.
Before joining the East Foundation in 2012, Neal was a Professor and Director of the Texas A&M Institute of Renewable Natural Resources and the Texas Water Resources Institute. In these roles he led the work of more than 45 scientists and professional staff. Prior to 2006, Neal was statewide Program Leader for Wildlife and Fisheries with Texas A&M Agrilife Extension. Prior to joining the Texas A&M faculty in 1998, he directed wildlife and fisheries programs for Port Blakely, a 150,000-acre family-owned forestry company headquartered in the US Pacific Northwest.
Neal holds a PhD in Wildlife Ecology from the University of Florida, a MS in Wildlife & Fisheries Sciences from Texas A&M University, and a BS in Forestry from Stephen F. Austin State University.
Neal is a Director and former Vice-President of Texas Wildlife Association. He is on the Board of Texan-by-Nature, the Management Council for the King Ranch® Institute for Ranch Management and is a Professional Member of the Boone & Crockett Club. He and his wife Sandra have two grown children, Ashley and Matt.