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Emily Nobel Maxwell Joins New York Staff

Maxwell will serve as the Conservancy first-ever Urban Conservation Program Director in New York.


Emily Nobel Maxwell

The Conservancy hires New York's first-ever Urban Conservation Program Director.

New York, New York | July 25, 2013

The Nature Conservancy is pleased to announce that Emily Nobel Maxwell has accepted the position of Director of The Nature Conservancy in New York’s new Urban Conservation Program. Maxwell brings with her a strong background in urban sustainability and outreach work, and is a proven conservation leader.

"The Nature Conservancy is excited that Emily is joining our team," said Stuart F. Gruskin, Chief Conservation and External Affairs Officer for New York. "Emily's environmental policy expertise, experience working with many different types of stakeholders, and her strong commitment to conservation in cities uniquely qualifies her to lead our urban conservation program in New York."

Maxwell previously served as the Associate Director for the Northeast Region and Diversity and Inclusion for the National Wildlife Federation, where she was responsible for programs in a number of states. While in this position she launched a number of New York City-based initiatives, including a partnership with the Department of Education, “NWF’s Eco-Schools USA,” which focuses on connecting kids to nature through school sustainability efforts. Most recently, Maxwell worked with Gateway National Recreation Area in Queens, New York, to create a series of volunteer days aimed at restoring the Jamaica Bay area following Hurricane Sandy.

This isn’t Maxwell’s first brush with nature in New York City. Maxwell was a co-founder of The More Gardens! Coalition, which fought to protect community gardens around New York City from demolition.

Following these successful efforts to protect NYC community gardens, Maxwell led a community greening initiative in Philadelphia, her hometown, and then became the director of the Catalyst program for the New York City Partnership for Parks. In this position, she oversaw parks revitalization efforts in under-served parks, helping communities envision the future of their area parks and waterfront. In her time there, she worked with many of the Conservancy’s peer organizations, as well as city government and community groups.

Maxwell has also advanced urban sustainability and conservation as an educator. She was an Adjunct Professor at Lesley University, where she taught a graduate course entitled “Envisioning Sustainable Cities.” Maxwell has a bachelors degree from The New School for Social Research, and a masters from The University of Michigan’s School of Natural Resources and Environment.

As the Urban Conservation Program Director, Maxwell will help develop and lead the Conservancy’s initiatives in New York City and other New York urban areas. In addition to supervising policy and science staff, she will be the primary point of engagement with partners and community groups, as well as work with New York senior staff and colleagues across the Conservancy to implement urban conservation strategies. 

Maxwell lives in Brooklyn where she frequents Prospect Park with her dog, Elmer.  She is an avid amateur naturalist and mycologist, with a particular interest in foraging and in cultivating native plants and growing and preserving her own food.


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.

Contact information

Rachel Winters
The Nature Conservancy
(267) 210-2189
rwinters@tnc.org

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