The Nature Conservancy Hires New Kentucky State Director

Beginning on July 21st, David Phemister brings a wealth of experience to build on momentum in advancing conservation throughout the Bluegrass State.

Lexington, Kentucky | July 14, 2014

The Nature Conservancy has named David Phemister State Director of the Kentucky Chapter. Phemister will oversee the strategic direction and management of the Kentucky Chapter’s staff, system of 36 nature preserves totaling 7,665 acres and array of conservation projects taking place around the state.

Phemister is an eleven-year veteran of The Nature Conservancy, having served in land protection roles and as Director of Government Relations in the Virginia Chapter. Prior to joining The Nature Conservancy, he served with the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation. 

“By hiring David we are benefiting from the deep pool of leaders emerging within the Conservancy family, and we are excited about his next step as State Director in Kentucky,” says Rob McKim, Director of The Nature Conservancy’s Central Division.

While working in the Virginia Chapter, Phemister spearheaded the Eastern Division Government Relations network, a team representing 18 state chapters charged with examining and developing positions around Atlantic fisheries, off-shore energy development and other regional issues. He also oversaw the Virginia Aquatic Resources Trust Fund, a $59 million mitigation program and more than 110 projects.

“State programs are the Conservancy’s core strength, and I am excited and honored to lead our efforts in Kentucky,” says Phemister. “We have the opportunity and responsibility to deliver local conservation results that also help advance our global mission. I look forward to helping advance work that excites and energizes our members and supporters and provides real benefits to Kentucky’s people and communities.”

Phemister has a Master’s Degree in Natural Resources from the University of Michigan, and graduated magna cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in Geology and Biology from Brown University. Away from the office, he enjoys biking, hiking and camping with his wife and two small children. He begins his job as the Conservancy’s Kentucky State Director on July 21st.

“David arrives ready to hit the ground running just as our Chapter enters its 40th year – a time when we are reflecting on the impacts we have made through land protection, policy, cutting-edge science and ground-breaking conservation,” says Kris Sirchio, Board Chair for The Nature Conservancy’s Kentucky Chapter. “His ability to work across our organization and with key partners and local communities to tackle complex conservation challenges promises to take our work to new levels to benefit wildlife and Kentuckians.We look forward to his arrival later this month.”

Since opening its doors in 1975, The Nature Conservancy’s Kentucky Chapter has protected over 40,000 acres of diverse habitat throughout the state, including more than 8,000 acres by direct ownership and 6,500 acres by conservation easements. During this time, we have also helped to conserve more than 100,000 acres of additional lands and waters throughout the Commonwealth in partnership with corporations, government agencies, conservation organizations and private landowners, partnerships made possible by support of a loyal and dedicated membership.

The Nature Conservancy is a leading conservation organization working around the world to conserve the lands and waters on which all life depends. Visit The Nature Conservancy on the web at To learn about the Conservancy’s global initiatives, visit To keep up with current Conservancy news, follow @nature_press on Twitter.

Contact information

David Phemister
Kentucky State Director
114 Woodland Avenue
Lexington, KY  40502
859-259-9655 ext. 5011


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