Manikka Bowman, who has built her career as a land use nonprofit, government and political leader, has been named the new Massachusetts Executive Director for The Nature Conservancy. She begins the new role on February 5, 2024.
“We are overjoyed with the selection of Manikka Bowman to lead our work around biodiversity, land conservation and climate mitigation and adaptation across so many varied landscapes in Massachusetts,” said Lisa Rosen, Chair of TNC in Massachusetts’ Board of Trustees. “She is a skilled leader who is passionate about tackling climate change through policy and projects that include diverse voices and local communities, goals we share as an organization."
Bowman was most recently executive director of Project REAP (Real Estate Associate Program), a talent incubator for diverse commercial real estate candidates, where she revamped the organization’s operations, programming and fund development efforts to ensure it emerged from the COVID-19 pandemic.
She is also former Director of Policy for the Urban Land Institute Boston/New England District Council where she led research and provided commercial real estate thought leadership for the Boston market. For the Institute’s Technical Assistance Panel program, she oversaw the mission to leverage members’ expertise to help cities and towns address complex land use issues, including climate resilience mitigation in the built environment.
When Governor Deval Patrick ran for re-election in 2010, Bowman served as a field director, leading organizing efforts in Boston and throughout Massachusetts. A grassroots political leader, she has also worked and supported various leaders across the state to win elections locally and nationally.
Bowman served as vice chairman of the Cambridge School Committee where she played an important role in navigating negotiations and agreements with the city’s education unions during the COVID-19 pandemic, allowing students and staff to be safe for in-person learning. She also served as a co-chair of the budget committee which ensured an equitable process to the city’s $202 million school district budget.
In 2018, Bowman was selected as a Boston Business Journal “40 Under 40” honoree. She has been a regular contributor to Banker and Tradesman, among other media outlets. She is a proud alumnus of an Historically Black College and University, Bethune-Cookman University in Daytona Beach, FL, and holds a bachelor’s degree in sociology. She has two master’s degrees in divinity and urban policy from Columbia Theological Seminary in Decatur, GA, and Georgia State University. She lives in Cambridge with her husband and two daughters.
“I'm excited to lead an organization with a proven track record of advocacy for Massachusetts' ecological systems,” Bowman said. “Protecting natural and urban environments combats climate change and ensures a healthy planet for future generations. I look forward to building on the great work taking place at TNC.”
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. Working in more than 70 countries and territories, we use a collaborative approach that engages local communities, governments, the private sector, and other partners. To learn more, visit nature.org or follow @nature_press on Twitter.