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Michael Pressman

Global Lead for One Conservancy Protection Initiative

Michael Pressman

Michael Pressman Global Lead for One Conservancy Protection Initiative © TNC

Areas of Expertise

Complex real estate transactions, talent mobility, fundraising, conservation finance.




Michael Pressman is TNC’s Global Lead for our One Conservancy Protection Initiative (OCPI). In that capacity, he works with colleagues around the world to help resource TNC’s most impactful habitat protection projects – with talent sharing, shared fundraising, seed funding, special financing, and the like.

Michael began his career with a summer internship, designing nature preserves for The Nature Conservancy in Michigan in 1993. In the intervening years, Michael has provided 21+ years of service to TNC including service with programs in five US states as well as our 31-state Mississippi River Basin Program (MsB), and now TNC’s global programs. When he wasn’t on staff, Michael volunteered with TNC in New Hampshire and New Jersey and was a donor, joining our Legacy Club in 1999. He has been fortunate to work in the private, non- profit, and public sectors. In July of 2021, Michael joined TNC’s Protect Oceans, Lands, and Waters team as our Global Lead for the One Conservancy Protection Initiative (OCPI).

Initially trained in community-based conservation, Michael has proven experience delivering results at the site, landscape, state, multi-state, North America, whole system, regional, and global levels. In his work at OCPI and with the MsB program and elsewhere, Michael has delivered compelling results across highly matrixed organizational structures.

Prior to his current role, Michael served for 14 years as Director of Habitat Protection for TNC in MN/ND/SD. While there he built TNC’s largest real estate team in the third largest geography of any state-based US chapter. The team doubled the acres protected by the chapter during its first 50 years in the next 7.

Michael comes with deep, broad, and diverse experience in complex real estate transactions. But he also brings experience in leadership, talent mobility, fundraising from many types of sources, conservation finance, capacity building, financial management, and managing complex partnerships, among others.

Michael initiated and has informally helped lead TNC’s Protection Learning Network – a group of more than 200, to date primarily US-based, staff across Protection, Legal, and other functions who come together to share expertise and learn from each other.

Across his various roles in and out of TNC, Michael has delivered conservation finance strategies from the hundreds of thousands to tens of millions of dollars. Raised as a drummer/percussionist, Michael has more recently been learning and playing guitar.

Michael resides in Excelsior, Minnesota, west of Minneapolis. He earned his master’s degree in Regional Planning from the University of Pennsylvania and a B.A. with honors from Lafayette College.

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