Our People

Jessica Ottney Mahar

Director of Policy and Strategy

New York

Headshot of Jessica Ottney Mahar smiling at the camera with eyeglasses on.

Jessica Ottney Mahar Director of Policy and Strategy © Dawn Schlaks

Areas of Expertise

Climate policy, Environmental policy & regulation, State government & appropriations, Conservation

Media Contact

Sheila Webb-Halpern


Lyda Holland


Jessica Ottney Mahar is The Nature Conservancy’s New York Policy and Strategy Director. She leads TNC’s New York policy team and oversees conservation programs across the state. Since joining The Nature Conservancy in 2007, Jessica and her team have successfully advocated for the enactment of dozens of laws and regulations, including the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act, and helped secure billions in funding to protect and restore New York’s natural resources and address global warming. Jessica also leads statewide environmental coalitions with partners from labor, business, health, environmental justice, and conservation groups. Currently, she is leading the Vote Yes for Clean Water and Jobs coalition and campaign in support of a $4.2 billion environmental bond measure, the largest in New York history.

Jessica has over two decades of environmental policy experience. Prior to joining The Nature Conservancy, she worked at The Adirondack Council and Citizens Campaign for the Environment, advancing conservation efforts in the Adirondacks, Western New York, and on Long Island. She currently serves on numerous nonprofit boards. A proud Rochester native and University of Buffalo alum, Jessica lives in Albany with her husband, daughter, and two cats.

- Collapse biography