The Nature Conservancy is pleased to announce that Mark Abner is the new Georgia state director. Abner most recently led fundraising efforts in the Mid-Atlantic area for the Conservancy representing Washington, D.C., Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia. Abner was selected from a wide pool of candidates for the passion and experience he will bring to this leadership role in Georgia.
A native Georgian, Abner holds a bachelor’s degree in economic history from Emory University in Atlanta and a master’s degree in environmental studies from The Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington. His career has been dedicated to fundraising for conservation and academia, including serving as the director of development for the College of Natural Resources at the University of Minnesota.
“Although I have travelled far throughout my career, I always wanted to end up back in Georgia,” Abner said. “My deep, personal connection to this great state has finally called me home, and I’m proud to lead The Nature Conservancy’s efforts to care for the woods and waters that define our way of life.”
Abner will focus on the Conservancy’s major conservation initiatives in Georgia—protecting the rivers that provide critical habitat for many species and water for communities; improving the health of the Georgia coast; and rejuvenating the forests that clean our air and shelter iconic species like the endangered red-cockaded woodpecker and the gopher tortoise, the state reptile.
Leading a team of fundraisers in the Mid-Atlantic, Abner pioneered efforts to secure funding for the Conservancy’s Chesapeake Bay Watershed Program, a multi-state conservation project. His has also worked as a wilderness firefighter, field ecologist and political campaign manager.
Abner grew up in Jesup, Georgia, and his roots in the central Altamaha River area span two centuries. His wife, Gabrielle Horner, works for the U.S. Department of the Interior and previously spent 15 years in government relations with The Nature Conservancy. The couple will reside in Atlanta.
The Nature Conservancy is a leading conservation organization working around the world to protect ecologically important lands and waters for nature and people. The Conservancy and its more than 1 million members have protected nearly 120 million acres worldwide. Visit The Nature Conservancy on the Web at www.nature.org.
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