A native of New Orleans, Cindy has more than 20 years of experience in the field of natural resources. Having grown up fishing the Gulf’s wetlands and spending summers on its beaches, she has always appreciated the Gulf as a special place. She has also experienced its precipitous decline – and the consequences to people that come with that decline – firsthand. Her goal now as director of The Nature Conservancy’s Gulf of Mexico program is to greatly accelerate the pace and scale of restoration of key Gulf ecosystems through strategic partnerships and the leveraging of significant, additional resources from private and public sources. In Cindy’s mind, successful restoration of the Gulf will be realized when the Gulf works for people and nature – when humans enjoy the bounty of Gulf ecosystems but aren’t exploiting natural resources at the expense of future generations or other species. Cindy has led multiple conservation planning, habitat restoration and land protection projects. Having spent many years working in large landscapes like the Mississippi River and its delta, she holds a unique, real-world perspective on the enormous challenges of working with upstream partners and multiple jurisdictions to restore coastal ecosystems.
Prior to joining the Conservancy, Cindy was an environmental planner with the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources. She has also served as a teacher within the Louisiana public school system and was employed by the New York Department of Environmental Conservation, where she worked with local government and citizens to develop remediation recommendations on state and federal superfund sites. Cindy holds a Master’s of Environmental Management degree from Duke University.