Dean Conant Worcester, D.Sc.(hon.), FRGS (October 1, 1866 – May 2, 1924) was an American zoologist, public official, and authority on the Philippines, born at Thetford, Vermont, and educated at the University of Michigan (A.B., 1889). He first went to the Philippines in 1887 as a junior member of a scientific expedition, and built a controversial career in the early American colonial government beginning in 1899 based upon his experience in the country. He was fiercely opposed to Philippine independence and a firm believer in the colonial mission. He served as the influential Secretary of the Interior of the Philippine Islands until 1913 when he began focusing on his business interests. He died in the Philippines having organized and managed businesses that included coconut farming and processing, cattle raising and a maritime shipping line.
Dean Conant Worcester was born 1 October 1866 in Thetford, Vermont to Ezra Carter Worcester (1816-1887) and Ellen Hunt (Conant) Worcester (1826–1902). Worcester entered the University of Michigan in October 1884, and he was part of the 1887–1888 zoological expedition to the Philippines organized by Joseph Beal Steere in which they collected over 300 zoological specimens, of which 53 were deemed new to science. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in zoology in 1889. Shortly thereafter in September 1890, Worcester and fellow zoologist Frank Swift Bourns returned to the Philippines on a two-year zoological expedition funded by Louis F. Menage, a wealthy Minneapolis businessman who was the major benefactor of the Minnesota Academy of Natural Sciences.