Meet the Experts

Michelle Carr

State Director

Follow Michelle on Twitter: @mchlecarr


Michelle Carr understands the business of nature.

“You don’t have to be a scientist to know there is a growing demand for water, food and energy on this planet,” she said. “The global threats to the Earth’s natural systems lead me to make my life’s work about finding sustainable solutions to these challenges.”

As The Nature Conservancy in Illinois’ state director, Carr will have that opportunity.

Michelle Carr, Chicago resident and former Goldman Sachs & Co. vice president, was recently named the chapter’s state director after an intensive search spearheaded by Conservancy staff and trustees. Carr’s lengthy business and leadership experience in the investment management division at Chicago Goldman Sachs & Co. landed her the top spot.

During her 16-year tenure at the firm, Carr’s clients included entrepreneurs, chief executives, families, foundations and endowments. She was consistently a top performer in contributions.

In addition to her professional expertise, Carr has demonstrated a long-standing commitment to civic leadership. She currently serves on the board of directors for the National Museum of Health and Medicine Chicago and is a member of the Chicago Foundation for Women and Chicago Finance Exchange. Additionally, she has held various board positions on behalf of Links Hall, a performing arts non-profit, and led the group through a financial reorganization and leadership development program, including the appointment of a new executive director.

“The state director role is particularly appealing to me,” Carr said. “I spent much of my childhood exploring trails, ponds and streams, which led to my affinity for nature. I know the self-reliance, wonder, peace and humbleness a connection with nature can provide, and I look forward to supporting The Nature Conservancy in providing this for people in Illinois and throughout the world.”

Carr graduated magna cum laude from St. Louis University and holds a Master’s degree in business administration from Vanderbilt University. She resides in Chicago with her husband (Dane) and three children, Clyde (12), Vaughn (10) and Hyla (7).

Follow Michelle on Twitter



Diversity Matters: Promoting Collaboration and Inclusivity in Conservation

April 26, 2016

Dr. Mamie Parker recently met with Nature Conservancy board members and staff  as part of the Illinois Chapter’s ongoing efforts to promote collaboration and diversity in the field of conservation.

More Prescribed Fire Needed To Keep Habitats Healthy

March 17, 2016

A new report reveals the state of prescribed fire in Illinois.

New Transportation Bill More Nature-Friendly

December 22, 2015

The America’s Surface Transportation Act  (FAST) Act not only enables transportation improvements, but contains new measures to help strengthen communities and protect valuable lands and waters at the same time.

New report card shows needs for improvement in the Upper Mississippi River Basin

October 22, 2015

A report card from America’s Watershed Initiative gave the Upper Mississippi River Basin a "C."

Advocacy Day 2015: Shaping Nature’s Future

October 09, 2015

On October 6, Conservancy trustees and staff members from across the country traveled to Washington, D.C. for the Conservancy’s Advocacy Day on Capitol Hill.

One Small Program, One Big Investment in Lands, Waters and Communities

September 15, 2015

While the clock is ticking on the Land and Water Conservation Fund, Congress has a chance to save it.

The Flood of 2013: Looking Back to Move Forward

April 27, 2015

What did we learn about wetland restoration from the flood of 2013?

On Earth Day: Local Actions, Global Results

April 22, 2015

Learn about how a visit to Colombia is helping protect fresh water here in Illinois.

Growing Cleaner Water in the Great Lakes

March 23, 2015

The United Nation’s World Water Day, celebrated annually on March 22, provides an opportunity to think about how we protect fresh water in the Great Lakes.

New Legislation Provides Another Tool in Fight against Invasive Species in the Great Lakes

January 20, 2015

A law recently passed in Michigan will help stop new invasions.

2014 By The Numbers

December 31, 2014

What we achieved for conservation in 2014 holds tremendous promise for the coming year.

Using Nature to Protect Fresh Water in Chicago (And Beyond)

November 24, 2014

Recently, more than 400 Conservancy staff, CEOs, policymakers and thought leaders gathered right here in Chicago to talk about one of the most important commodities of the future: Water.

Bison Help Put the “Prairie” Back in Prairie State

October 06, 2014

This October, bison become an important next step in our restoration work at Nachusa Grasslands.

Mayor’s Meeting Draws Focus to Water Quality in Illinois

October 01, 2014

Great Lakes mayors gathered in Chicago to discuss protecting the region's water resources in light of a recent algae bloom in Lake Erie.

In Honor of Earth Month: 5 Things You Should Know About Nature

April 22, 2014

Earth Day and Earth Month are all about raising awareness. Here are 5 things you should know about nature.

Celebrating World Water Day Every Day

March 21, 2014

World Water Day is March 22. But we need to celebrate and protect water resources like the Great Lakes every day.

Native Gardening: Good for You, Good for Nature

March 14, 2014

Adding native flowers and plants to your garden is a great way to attract songbirds, clean our water, and even yourself some time and money.

Conserving Lands and Waters in Illinois Through the Farm Bill

February 04, 2014

We commend Congress for passing a Farm Bill that's one of the strongest ever for conservation.

Responding to GLMRIS: What's Next?

January 15, 2014

The Army Corps of Engineers recently released the Great Lakes Mississippi River Interbasin Study (GLMRIS), which responds to the economic and environmental threats posed by aquatic invasive species in these regions. Learn more about this report and what needs to happen next. 

Another Threat To the Great Lakes

December 05, 2013

DNA from Eurasian ruffe, an aquatic invasive species, was recently found in southern Lake Michigan. This poses a threat to the Great Lakes and the Missisippi River basin.

Aquatic Invasive Species: A CAWS for Concern

November 20, 2013

Learn about how aquatic invasive species are threatening Lake Michigan and the Great Lakes region.


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