Georgie Geraghty Named Illinois Executive Director of The Nature Conservancy

Geraghty reflects commitment to people and nature to address crisis of a warming planet.

Wildflowers at Nachusa Grasslands.
A Summer Bloom Prairie wildflowers in Nachusa Grasslands Preserve, Illinois. © Charles Larry

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A headshot of Georgie Geraghty.
Georgie Geraghty Georgie Geraghty is The Nature Conservancy's new Illinois Executive Director and Midwest Partner. © TNC

Georgie Geraghty today steps into the leadership position of Executive Director and Midwest Partner of The Nature Conservancy (TNC) in Illinois, with a focus on propelling climate resiliency and nature-based solutions in the region. Geraghty brings her passion for nature, her experience as an attorney and her work in conservation, community engagement and business to the role. She builds on the organization’s breakthrough ideas to address the dual crises of climate change and biodiversity loss in the Midwest and around the world.

“Leading The Nature Conservancy in Illinois, alongside committed colleagues and partners in the Midwest and around the world, is a full-circle moment,” said Geraghty, who began her career with General Electric (GE). “We are all seeing and feeling the impacts of climate change and the loss of nature. But I am as hopeful as ever because local communities, decision-makers and influential businesses are pushing for much-needed change. I’m excited to be a part of partnership-driven solutions with this remarkable TNC team.”

Born and raised in Bloomington, Ill., Geraghty’s vision is one of unification. She recognizes the shared opportunities and common goals across Illinois, from rural and urban to policy and business. Geraghty has a proven record of connecting TNC insights and innovations locally, touching down in freshwater, renewable energy and climate, including leading the release of the Illinois Climate Assessment, the first-of-its-kind publication.

“Illinois is a leader in climate solutions, thanks to the passage of the Climate and Equitable Jobs Act, which gave the state a head start in creating equitable, green energy jobs,” Geraghty said. “The private sector also has a responsibility to address its environmental impact on our lands and waters. Illinois is home to nearly 40 Fortune 500 companies, and with science, community input and TNC’s on-the-ground experience, there is a significant opportunity to engage with these corporations to make better decisions and protect nature here and around the world.”

Geraghty began working with TNC in 1998, serving as TNC’s director of community-based conservation in Colorado. She has been with TNC in Illinois since 2016 and spent most of that time as deputy director. She brings more than 25 years of experience bridging conservation, law and fiscal expertise to this executive leadership position.

“Georgie Geraghty demonstrates both visionary leadership and deep experience, which is what we need in this critical moment as we near an inflection point—we are working against the clock to cut global emissions by 2030 and protect critical ecosystems around the world for people and nature,” said TNC Midwest Director Michael Reuter. “Georgie leads with empathy and is motivated by a blend of innovation and collaboration. She is a leader who inspires commitment and initiates partnerships that get meaningful results.”

Geraghty’s professional journey reflects a commitment to environmental issues, law and education. Before her influential tenure at TNC, she served as a lecturer at the University of Chicago Law School for 12 years and as adjunct faculty at the Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law. She also worked on environmental initiatives for The Field Museum. Geraghty earned a law degree from Yale University and a master’s degree in forestry and its relation to land use from the University of Oxford, and she obtained her undergraduate degree in public policy from Princeton University.

The Nature Conservancy is a global conservation organization dedicated to conserving the lands and waters on which all life depends. Guided by science, we create innovative, on-the-ground solutions to our world’s toughest challenges so that nature and people can thrive together. We are tackling climate change, conserving lands, waters and oceans at an unprecedented scale, providing food and water sustainably and helping make cities more sustainable. The Nature Conservancy is working to make a lasting difference around the world in 77 countries and territories (41 by direct conservation impact and 36 through partners) through a collaborative approach that engages local communities, governments, the private sector, and other partners. To learn more, visit or follow @nature_press on X.