Andrea Santy

Andrea Santy

Program Director, XPRIZE Wildfire

Andrea Santy joins XPRIZE as Program Director, Wildfire. She brings more than twenty years of experience managing worldwide competitions to support scientists, researcher, students, early- to mid-career professionals and nonprofit organizations to address global challenges. She’s worked in landscapes across Africa, Asia, and Latin America, including areas experiencing and recovering from wildfires.

Most recently, she was advancing the Smithsonian Institution’s science and education goals. As Interim Director of the Smithsonian’s Office of Academic Appointments and Internships, she led efforts to deliver world-class internships and fellowships to 3000+ students, researchers, and aspiring professionals in art, science, history, and culture. From 2019 - early 2022, she served as the Director of Program Development for the Smithsonian Conservation Commons – an action network that applied cultural and scientific expertise to sustain Earth’s biodiversity and ecosystems.  

Andrea spent nearly two decades with World Wildlife Fund’s Russell E. Train Education for Nature Program (EFN) – a program that supports proven and potential conservation leaders from the Global South and enhances their ability to preserve, protect, and restore the world’s most biolgoically rich places. She’s most proud of her efforts to: develop WWF’s Reforestation Grant Program to advance locally-driven forest restoration; launch a multi-year fellowship program for conservationists in countries undergoing dramatic social, polical, and economic change; and lead a six-year, $5 million program to improve capacity for protected area management in the Andes-Amazon region.  

She’s a co-founder of the Conservation Leadership Community of Practice – a monthly forum for fellowship managers to connect and share best practices. She’s co-authored peer-reviewed articles focused on capacity development for conservation, and she seeks to leverage her interdisciplinary training to improve outcomes for people and nature. Andrea holds a master’s degree in international communication from American University, Washington, DC and a bachelor’s degree in international relations from the University of Dayton, OH.