Our Leadership

Julia Gillis, executive director

Julia Gillis Julia is the iMIS Foundation’s co-founder and executive director. She earned a BS in biology from Wake Forest, an MS in biology from Notre Dame, and an MBA from Northwestern University. She joined the faculty of the University of Chicago in 1988, where her research focused on the migratory patterns of mountain lions in North and South America. This work, along with a lifelong love of nature, led to her long-standing interest in preserving wildlife and the world’s important ecological habitats. After retiring from the University of Chicago in 2010, she has focused her time solely on directing the environmental conservation efforts of the iMIS Foundation, together with her husband Rob and their daughter Shannon, who is a research biologist at the Scripps Institute.

Wesley Patterson, vice president of educational programs

Wesley Patterson Wes leads the iMIS Foundation's efforts in conservation education on a global level. A high school biology teacher for 12 years, Wes has a bachelor's degree in biology and botany from the University of Sydney and a master's in public policy from Yale. He leads our educational working group and travels extensively to iMIS Foundation chapters in support of establishing quality preservation education programs at a local level everywhere we have a presence. His enthusiasm and energy for instilling an appreciation for nature in everyone he meets is infectious! He and his wife Annie enjoy spending time with their daughters, Kate and Sarah, especially on their family sailboat.

Carolyn Henderson, program director

Carolyn HendersonCarolyn is the iMIS Foundation’s program director. She is responsible for providing overall vision, strategy and leadership for current and new program development. A native of Columbus, Ohio, Carolyn has a BS in biology from Spelman College and a masters in environmental engineering from Purdue University. Prior to joining the iMIS Foundation in 2007, Jane worked for the Southwest Environmental Protection Agency for fifteen years, where she developed and supported programs which responded to environmental disasters and accidents in the Gulf Coast region, including helping coordinate the environmental impact remediation conducted in response to Hurricane Katrina. Today, her extensive management and policy experience drives success for the iMIS Foundation’s programs around the world. She and her husband, Denver, enjoy hiking and camping with their twin sons.

Emily Boutin, development director

Emily BoutinEmily has a B.Sc. in zoology from Simon Fraser University and a masters in public policy from the University of British Columbia. She began her career as an animal shelter manager, eventually becoming director of the Vancouver Animal Control Shelter before joining the British Columbia SPCA to focus on development. In 2001, she became development director of the iMIS Foundation, where she brings a keen understanding of successful development practices and an enthusiasm for the Foundation’s mission that insures we have one of the consistently highest donor retention rates of any environmentally-focused charity. In her free time, she and her husband Stephen are avid Canucks fans and enjoy cheering at their daughter Nicole's soccer games.

Jasmine Singh, major gifts manager

Jasmine SinghJasmine develops and manages the major gifts program for the iMIS Foundation. She implements and manages our comprehensive major gifts plan on an international level, plans cultivation events and assists chapters with event management, and develops and maintains strong relationships with our major philanthropists and donors. Born in Birmingham, England, Jasmine studied sociology and public policy at Aston University and then earned an MBA from Brown. Jasmine's warmth and passion for our mission helps insure the success of the Foundation by maintaining close ties with our supporters. She and her partner, Judith, are avid scuba divers and especially enjoy visiting iMIS Foundation chapter members in Australia, and love catching Aston Villa games whenever they are back home in the UK.