Ivy Spohnholz Named Director of The Nature Conservancy in Alaska

Welcoming an experienced state leader and coalition builder with a stellar record in public service

Aerial view of rocky Cape Lisburne at the ocean's edge; a narrow stream winds through a valley and into the distance.
High Alaska Aerial view of Cape Lisburne in the Alaska arctic. © ShoreZone

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Ivy Spohnholz headshot.
Ivy Spohnholz Alaska State Director Ivy Spohnholz © TNC

The Nature Conservancy (TNC) announced today that Ivy Spohnholz has been named as its next Alaska state director.

Spohnholz is an experienced leader whose dedication to public service includes a six-year career in the Alaska State Legislature. Throughout her professional life, she has distinguished herself as a leader committed to serving Alaska’s communities and building diverse partnerships to address the state’s most pressing issues.

“I am thrilled to be joining the team at The Nature Conservancy,” Spohnholz says. “In Alaska, with our rich resources and a way of life that’s second to none, TNC’s work is both practical and essential. Alaska needs more jobs and lower cost energy that is both sustainable and predictable—especially in the rural and coastal communities that define us. We need to make big progress on adapting to and slowing climate change. There is no organization better positioned to help formulate the breakthroughs we need than The Nature Conservancy.”

Founded in 1989, The Nature Conservancy in Alaska works side by side with local leaders in communities and businesses across the state to overcome barriers to a sustainable future and implement practical conservation solutions that benefit people and nature.

“On behalf of the board of trustees for The Nature Conservancy in Alaska, I extend a warm welcome to new Alaska State Director Ivy Spohnholz,” says Melanie Baca Osborne, Chugach Alaska Corp. chief legal and administrative officer and chair of the Alaska board of trustees. “We’re fortunate to have Ivy bringing her lifelong dedication to Alaska and her deep expertise to TNC’s innovative approach to long-lasting conservation solutions. I look forward to working alongside Ivy to advance the special role TNC can play in helping a range of partners address their most pressing challenges.”

Prior to her service in the legislature, Spohnholz’s career included 20 years in roles with organizations as wide ranging as The Salvation Army, University of Alaska Anchorage, Alaska Conservation Foundation and Abused Women’s Aid in Crisis, developing innovative partnerships and attracting private investment in solutions to a broad range of issues.

Spohnholz holds a bachelor’s degree in political science and a master’s degree in public administration, both from the University of Washington. She has been a foster and adoptive parent and is the past chair of the board of directors for the Alaska Children’s Trust, which aims to eliminate child abuse and neglect in Alaska. A third-generation Alaskan, Spohnholz was born in a dry log cabin in the Wrangell Mountains and currently lives in Anchorage and Talkeetna with her husband, Troy. They have three adult daughters, Iris, Kim and Maya. In her free time, Spohnholz loves to hike, ski and gather wild Alaska foods and fish.

The Nature Conservancy seeks opportunities to advance solutions that work for people and nature in close partnership with federally recognized tribes, Alaska Native corporations, government agencies, landowners, communities and businesses. This work is guided by TNC’s core values, including respect for people, communities, and culture and commitment to diversity.

The Nature Conservancy is supported by more than 1 million members worldwide and by boards of trustees made up of local leaders. The organization is nonpartisan. Trustees, members and staff come from across the political spectrum and share a commitment to delivering tangible results for both people and nature. To learn more about The Nature Conservancy in Alaska, visit or follow @nature_ak on Twitter and @natureconservancyalaska on Facebook.

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.