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David Nunez

Development Officer, Foundations

David Nunez was born into a family of tequila producers in Guadalajara, Mexico. Asthmatic, nearsighted, anemic and suffering from severe eczema, his sickly composition as a youth steered him clear of the family business, and instead led him into the sciences, where he eventually obtained degrees in Biology, Molecular Genetics and Epidemiology from University of Texas at Austin, University of Chicago, and Harvard University.

Upon returning to Mexico at the dawn of the new millennium, he landed a job as Director of Genetic Epidemiology with the National Institute of Public Health in Cuernavaca. It was a disastrously brief stint during which he spent his first month simply trying to accept the job, and the next month trying to resign from it.

Down but not out, he moved to the Mexican Caribbean coast, where he found refuge working for a small environmental NGO. Swimming with sea turtles and rays every morning before work was very therapeutic and he highly recommends it. It was during these years that he stumbled into grant-writing and fundraising, and loved it. Eventually he founded his own environmental non-profit, Mexiconservacion, with a couple of friends.

In between these highlights he’s been a translator, a bartender, a data entry clerk, a lab technician, a teacher, a writer, a researcher, a fruit vendor and a public speaker. He´s run a darkroom, managed a volunteer program, designed & built museum exhibits, investigated pesticide poisonings, documented nesting sea turtles, taught High School science, analyzed wastewater, waited tables, spliced genes, and operated an electron microscope. He has written a couple of wildlife guidebooks; enjoys photography and windsurfing; and has studied massage and acupuncture.

Feeling that his life lacked focus, he decided to walk away from the Caribbean beach towns where he spent his 30s, and return to the U.S. to “get serious.” He is thrilled to be working for the Foundations team at Earthjustice.