Jackson Wild Names Former Nat Geo Unscripted EVP Geoff Daniels Executive Director

The veteran of unscripted nature TV and film replaces Lisa Samford, who steps down from her post at the natural history and conservation media org in October

Geoff Daniels (Photo courtesy of PBS)
Geoff Daniels (Photo courtesy of PBS)

Former National Geographic executive Geoff Daniels is set to join the natural history and conservation media organization Jackson Wild. Daniels will serve as its new executive director.

Daniels’ 20-year-long stint in the film and TV industry will continue on with Jackson Wild, which was formerly known as the Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival. The company creates and elevates storytelling centered on nature, science and climate through partnerships and initiatives.

In his role, Daniel will be responsible for leading Jackson Wild’s yearly programming and will help facilitate the organization’s vision and overall strategy. He’s also set to take charge of the planning process and execution of its annual Jackson Wild Summit.

“It’s such an incredible honor to have this opportunity to build on the inspiration that Lisa’s vision and Jackson Wild have provided to our filmmakers and wider conservation community,” Daniels said in a statement shared with TheWrap. “In the coming years, you can expect us to shine the brightest light possible on the kind of innovative storytelling and strategic partnerships that will elevate Jackson Wild as a true beacon of hope for anyone seeking to make a real impact in creating a healthier, more sustainable future for our planet.”

Daniels will replace current Executive Director Lisa Samford, who will be stepping down from the role at the end of October after a 20-year-long tenure.

“Geoff has been a champion of Jackson Wild from the beginning, quite literally. He attended the first event in 1991 and has been an active member of our community ever since,” Samford said. “Change is essential for Jackson Wild to continue being the dynamic, innovative organization we strive to be, and it gives me great comfort to know that the organization will be in the hands of such a capable and passionate leader.”

Prior to Jackson Wild, Daniels got his start in new product development at Time-Life Video & Television, where he helped build that imprint as a leading home video distributor. His time there included acquiring and marketing Ken Burns’ “The Civil War” and Sir David Attenborough’s “Trials of Life.”

“Geoff is an ideal leader to oversee the continued growth of Jackson Wild and solidify the organization’s position as a leading force in the conservation media space for years to come,” Bill Gardner, chairperson of Jackson Wild’s Board of Directors, said. “The Board feels confident in Geoff’s ability to lead the organization to new heights.”

Daniels’ most recent role was as EVP of unscripted entertainment for the London-based production company Nutopia. During that period, he oversaw programming and marketing. He also executive-produced several series, including “7 Toughest Days with Dwayne Fields,” “Rewind the ’90s” and “Shark Beach.” When he was working as EVP of global unscripted entertainment for National Geographic Channel, Nat Geo Wild and Nat Geo on Disney+, he was in charge of all original content and greenlit popular series including Chris Hemsworth’s “Limitless” and “Secrets of the Whales.”