The Nature Conservancy Announces New Staff and Board Leaders

Ongoing Commitment to Science, Restoration and Community Engagement

Jackson, Miss. | November 22, 2013

The Nature Conservancy in Mississippi is very pleased to announce that Dr. Keith Ouchley has been tapped as the State Director, Alex Littlejohn identified as Associate State Director, and Kelly Blackwood as Chair of the state’s Board of Trustees.

Their collective leadership will usher in the state chapter’s 25th anniversary in 2014, and an ongoing commitment to improving and protecting Mississippi’s land and water areas for current and future generations.

Keith is now responsible for the operations of both the Louisiana and Mississippi Chapters of the Conservancy. He has been a staff member for 14 years and Louisiana’s state director since 2001. Keith states, “There is a lot of synergy between the work the Conservancy does in Louisiana and the work here in Mississippi, so when I was asked to take on the leadership of Mississippi, I jumped at the chance.”

With a Ph.D. in Wildlife Ecology from Louisiana State University, Keith is well-versed in the conservation and ecology of the Gulf coast. A Louisiana native, Keith is well-known by business leaders, conservation professionals and members of the community. He has also been seen on televised fundraisers focused on the Gulf of Mexico, heard on NPR (National Public Radio) and still lectures at LSU—activities he fits in around as much time spent in the out-of-doors as possible.

Alex, a native Mississippian, has been with the Conservancy since early 2012. He was promoted from his position of Freshwater Programs Manager, where he directed all aspects of Mississippi’s freshwater conservation program including scientific and technical support/ expertise, leadership for freshwater conservation initiatives, stream and wetland ecology, nutrient and sediment reduction strategies. Alex also served as the Conservancy’s principal freshwater liaison to government agencies, conservation organizations, foundations and the academic community.

Alex earned a M.S. degree in Wildlife, Fisheries and Aquaculture and a B.S. in Wildlife and Fisheries Science from Mississippi State University. His graduate research focused on sediment and nutrient reduction practices in the Mississippi Delta. His previous work experience with an environmental engineering firm and the US Army Corps of Engineers provides him with a solid background in wetland ecology. “I’m thrilled to be continuing our great work across the state and making even more of a positive impact for the future of conservation in Mississippi.”

Kelly joined the Board of Trustees of the Conservancy in 2011. She is a senior attorney with Bradley, Arant, Boult, Cummings, LLP, where she is a member of the firm’s Environmental and Litigation Practice groups. She works regularly with the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and other state and federal agencies.

A Hattiesburg native, Kelly holds a J.D. from Mississippi College School of Law and received a B.B.A. from the University of Mississippi. While her career allows her to handle a wide range of environmental matters for clients related to property acquisitions, regulatory permitting and compliance issues, and litigation, Kelly also has taught environmental law as an adjunct professor at the Mississippi College School of Law. “The mission of the Conservancy parallels the work I do each day, and I am pleased to be able to lead a group of dedicated professionals from across the state, representing businesses, organizations, agencies and educational institutions.”

More information about the Conservancy’s Mississippi personnel, programs and priorities may be found at

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.


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