"Charlie has devoted nearly a decade of pro bono work to conservation projects and start-ups. Since his "retirement" from high tech he has actively worked to get several innovative conservation start-ups, including Cheetah Conservation Fund (CCF) and The Snow Leopard Conservancy, on their feet. During his tenure, CCF has grown 10 times and is now the largest cat conservation program in the world. Charlie brought the same combination of business experience and energy to the start-up of The Snow Leopard Conservancy in 1999, and its results have been equally impressive.
"Early in 2002, Knowles, Lukas and Yamazaki discussed opportunities for making conservation projects more successful. The three became convinced that the model Knowles had developed -- providing "venture capital" and business and technical skills to "conservation entrepreneurs" around the globe -- was the best way to multiply the impact that other entrepreneurs could have on wildlife, people and the environment. Their vision became the Wildlife Conservation Network."