Headshot, Laura McCarthy
Laura McCarthy Headshot, Laura McCarthy © Alan Eckert Photography

Our People

Laura McCarthy

Associate State Director, New Mexico

Santa Fe, NM

  • Areas of Expertise

    forest restoration and source water protection, climate change, policy, urban conservation


Laura McCarthy is the Associate State Director at The Nature Conservancy (TNC) in New Mexico. She is a Master of Forestry and has degrees in environmental, government and legal studies.

As the associate state director, Laura oversees programs in the Rio Grande, Gila, and San Juan Basins, including freshwater and climate and energy programs, and a new urban initiative in Albuquerque.

TNC’s Rio Grande Water Fund, which she founded and directs, is where she’s truly revolutionizing the way forests are managed in the increasingly arid Southwest. Working alongside 70+ partners, the Water Fund dramatically increases the scope of forest restoration to secure water for one million people in New Mexico.

In 2006, Laura served as TNC’s first Senior Policy Advisor for Fire and Forest Restoration. In 2013, she became the New Mexico chapter’s conservation programs director. Three years later, Laura was named associate state director. 

Before joining TNC, Laura spent eight years as Associate Director of the New Mexico-based Forest Guild. She also worked for the U.S. Forest Service as a wildland firefighter, timber manager and forest planner. 

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