As State Director of The Nature Conservancy in Vermont since August 2013, Heather Furman leads a statewide team of conservation and programmatic talent to achieve a resilient and connected landscape for both nature and people. Within the New England Division, Heather also guides a team of scientists and conservation experts to achieve large scale protection for land and water.
During her tenure, Heather has grown the visibility, influence, and scope of TNC’s conservation work in Vermont. She provides leadership for strategic conservation actions including landscape scale protection, partnership building, and scientific research. In 2018, Heather initiated Vermont’s first and largest forest carbon project eligible for the California carbon market. Under Heather’s leadership, the chapter has also launch an innovative program focused on nature-based solutions to advance water quality, created both trustee and staff fellowship programs to broaden engagement, and created the chapters first program focused on state and federal policy solutions.
Prior to joining The Nature Conservancy, Heather spent a decade as Executive Director of Stowe Land Trust where she guided the organization through transformative growth, dramatically accelerating the pace and scale of conservation initiatives. Heather has held planning positions with the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources, and the Vermont Agency of Transportation, and was co-founder of the Climbing Resource Access group of Vermont (CRAG-VT), a non-profit dedicated to land protection for recreation access and habitat. She served as its Board president from 1999-2005. In 2006 she joined the Board of the Access Fund, a climbing advocacy organization based in Boulder, CO, and worked nationally to protect land for recreation access. She served as the Access Fund’s vice-president from 2007-2009 and helped steer the organization through a multi-million-dollar capital campaign for land conservation priorities around the country.
Heather has spent several years living, working and traveling throughout Latin America and Asia. From 1995-1997, she lived in Nepal, where she carried out conservation and community development initiatives for the World Wildlife Fund, and the U.S Peace Corps.
An Ohio native, Heather earned her BA from the Ohio State University in Anthropology and is a graduate of The Rubenstein School of Environmental & Natural Resources at the University of Vermont, where she received her MS in Natural Resource Planning. She currently serves on Lake Champlain Sea Grant’s Program Advisory Committee. Heather moved to Vermont in 1998, where she enjoys trail running, fly-fishing, hunting, and spending time with her husband, a black lab named Macintosh and an assortment of cats.