Science for a Blue Planet

Featuring cutting-edge work, discoveries, and challenges of our scientists, our partners, and the larger conservation science community.

10 Questions and Answers with our New CEO

Mani on his first day as Point Blue’s CEO. Photo by Lishka Arata/Point Blue

It is with great excitement that we officially welcome Manuel “Mani” Oliva on his first week of work as Point Blue’s CEO. Over the coming months, there will be a variety of opportunities for you to meet Mani, but in the meantime, please read on to get to know him a bit! You can also read Mani’s bio on our website here and his CV is here.

We’re so glad to have Mani in place to lead Point Blue in the next chapter of our history and look forward to great things ahead.

Thank you for all you to do to support us!

The Point Blue Team


10 Questions & Answers with Mani Oliva, Point Blue’s New CEO:

  1. What makes you excited to join Point Blue?
    Joining an organization that has a strong reputation as a leader in conservation science is exciting to me. I am looking forward to guiding the organization in this next phase of their history, to help build upon its long track record of success and help increase the impact of its climate-smart conservation efforts.
  2. What are you looking forward to about living in Northern California?
    The beautiful weather and living within a community of people who have such a close connection to nature and outdoor activities.
  3. What do you like to do when you’re not working?
    Hiking, reading with a good cup of coffee, photography.
  4. Should Point Blue supporters call you Manuel or Mani?
    Please call me Mani.
  5. Are there any lessons you’ll be bringing from a long career in Washington, DC?
    An excellent understanding of how policies can be most effectively informed by science, as well as my strong relationships with diverse national and international partners working on climate change and conservation issues.
  6. What gives you hope for the future?
    Current movements by youth asking for greater action to address climate change and to protect our critical ecosystems and biodiversity. This is why I’m excited about our educational programs which I see as critical investments in our future leaders.
  7. Do you have any special connection to any specific plants or animals in nature?
    Penguins! I’ve been fortunate enough to see penguins in the wild in Patagonia and Cape Town and I am still fascinated by these unique creatures.
  8. What are some of your all time favorite books or movies?
    Book – Long Walk to Freedom (Autobiography of President Nelson Mandela)
    Movie – “Star Wars, a New Hope” (Besides the great story and characters, it was enjoyable to see the rainforest of the Mayan biosphere in Guatemala as the backdrop for the rebel base.)
  9. How has the world of conservation changed in the 20 years you’ve been involved?
    I believe there is a greater appreciation of the need for strong social science to successfully advance conservation efforts among broader and more diverse communities, and to understand and help address the associated equity and justice issues.
  10. Is there anything else you’d like Point Blue supporters to know about you?
    I am at Point Blue not only because I feel passionate about its work, but also because I believe the organization has the exact right strengths to empower greater climate smart conservation action here in California and globally.