Director, Building Healthy Cities
AREAS OF EXPERTISE
Urban Conservation, Sustainability, Biodiversity Conservation, Air and Water Pollution
LaTresse Snead is Director of The Nature Conservancy’s Building Healthy Cities strategy globally, where she helps develop and promote nature-based solutions for the most pressing challenges facing cities around the world.
While advancing strategy, fundraising, and communications efforts, LaTresse oversees a passionate staff who work on everything from greening megacities and researching urban tree canopies to harnessing the potential of stormwater and creatively engaging the world’s billions of city dwellers with nature. Her role also includes helping the Conservancy think through issues of diversity, inclusion, and equity.
“This work excites me because I can see the impact it has on communities,” she says.
“I’m concerned with how people are protected and nurtured by nature. And I’m really concerned about how we are doing the work. How can we create beautiful, safe spaces without displacing people? How can we ensure that everyone benefits, with basic rights like clean air and water?”
LaTresse’s views on environmental justice have personal roots. Both grandparents on her mother’s side died from a rare form of cancer linked to contaminated drinking water in the Mississippi Delta. Other family members suffered severe health issues working in the polluted shipyards of San Francisco and New Orleans.
Prior to this role, LaTresse directed the Conservancy’s Volunteer and Community Outreach programs, where she launched Connect With Nature, a nationwide initiative that has linked thousands of people with natural areas and meaningful volunteer opportunities. A traveler who loves learning about other cultures, LaTresse has helped Conservancy programs around the globe develop strategies for engaging volunteers, building collaborative relationships along the way. “I connect the dots between partners and stakeholders,” she says, “aligning strategies and building consensus among decision makers.”
Over her career, LaTresse has brought positive change, accountability, and a transparent management style to a mix of nonprofits and businesses, including the American Red Cross and Boys & Girls Clubs of America. Wherever she goes, she works to improve practices and raise company standards. In some cases, she has facilitated complete turnarounds. As executive director of the Georgia chapter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving, she led a statewide restructuring effort, repairing critical partnerships and eliminating a $100,000 deficit. At the food purveyor Tastefully Simple, LaTresse led the company’s corporate social responsibility program, raising more than $2.5 million to address issues such as cancer and child hunger in America.
LaTresse holds a BA in African American Studies from San Francisco State University and a Masters of Public Administration with an Emphasis in Nonprofit Management from Georgia State University. When she’s not traveling, she lives outside Atlanta with her husband and son, where she’s an aspiring yogi and cyclist.