Pat Graham launched Arizona Thrives while director of The Nature Conservancy in Arizona. For more than 19 years, he led the Arizona chapter including two successful capital fundraising campaigns, the Nature Matters campaign for $39 million, and the recently completed Power of Nature campaign for $44 million, the largest campaign for conservation in the state’s history. The campaign has resulted in the protection of nearly 70,000 acres of lands, and an innovative program to restore Arizona’s forests.
The Conservancy distinguishes itself by being solutions-oriented, science-based and collaborative in our work with many partners. The Conservancy seeks ways to balance the needs of people and nature to secure water for our future and to create livable communities and a healthy environment. Since the chapter’s founding in 1966, the Conservancy has worked with partners to protect and steward more than 1.5 million acres of land.
Pat leads the Conservancy’s seven-state Colorado River Basin Council, and he has guided efforts to protect key Arizona rivers, the Verde, San Pedro and the Bill Williams – all within the Colorado River basin. He has also led Conservancy efforts to re-unite the Colorado River with the Gulf of California and restore the marine fishery.
Pat served on a five-month fellowship in Africa during 2009, working in Namibia to help create one of the world’s largest conservation areas. He has served on numerous statewide and national boards and councils covering water policy, renewable energy, sustainable tourism, freshwater, wildlife conservation and management.
Prior to joining the Conservancy, Pat led one of the nation’s preeminent wildlife management departments as director of the Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks in Montana. During his career at MFWP he served as deputy director, Fisheries Division chief and numerous other positions. He served as president of the Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies and president of the International Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies in 2000.
Pat holds a bachelor’s degree from Montana State University and a master’s degree from the University of Idaho in fish and wildlife management. He is an avid cyclist and fisherman.