Colorado prarie landscape.
Colorado prarie land Colorado prarie landscape. © Gifford Ewing


New Trustees Join The Nature Conservancy in Colorado

The Nature Conservancy in Colorado welcomes former Governor Bill Ritter Jr., Karen Simon, Dr. Gabriela Chavarria and Amanda Paulson to its Board.

Photo of Bill Ritter.
New Trustee Bill Ritter Jr. © TNC

Bill Ritter Jr. was elected as Colorado’s 41st Governor in 2006.  During his four-year term, Ritter established Colorado as a national and international leader in clean energy, by building a new energy economy.  He is currently the founder and director of the Center for the New Energy Economy (CNEE) at Colorado State University which launched on February 1, 2011. Gov. Ritter was formerly the chair of the Board of Directors of the Energy Foundation and currently serves on the Regis University Board of Trustees. Gov. Ritter is a member of Blackhorn Venture Capital and serves as an advisor to Green Alpha and Millennium Bridge, among others. He is also the author of a book entitled, Powering Forward – What Everyone Should Know About America’s Energy Revolution.

Photo of Karen Simon.
New Trustee Karen Simon © TNC

Karen Simon retired as a Vice Chairman, Investment Banking, from JPMorgan in December 2019. Over her 36 years with JPMorgan, she held a number of positions including Global Head of Financial Sponsor Coverage; Co-Head of EMEA Debt Capital Markets and Head of EMEA Oil & Gas coverage. Ms. Simon is a dual US/UK citizen and has worked in London, New York City and Houston. She serves as the Non-Executive Chairman of Energean, listed on the London Stock Exchange, is on the board of Aker ASA in Norway and is a director for several nonprofit organizations.

Gabriela Chavarria
New Trustee Gabriela Chavarria © Denver Museum of Nature and Science

Dr. Gabriela Chavarria joined the Denver Museum of Nature & Science in 2018 to support and advocate for basic scientific research and their scientific collections. She came to the United States 30 years ago to complete her PhD on tropical bumble bees.  Gabriela was interested in conservation policy, so she joined the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation to learn about how the foundation invests their resources.  She worked in the advocacy field for several NGOs, then joined the U.S. Government, where she not only worked on conservation policy but became a wildlife forensic scientist fighting the illegal trafficking of tropical hardwoods.

Photo of Amanda Paulson
New Trustee Amanda Paulson © TNC

Amanda Paulson is a Special Projects Officer for the Bobolink Foundation. In that role she helps shape foundation priorities, communications, and funding decisions on a variety of projects, including conservation work in the Amazon, in North American grasslands, and in a wide range of other biodiversity- and conservation-focused partnerships. Previously, she spent 20 years as a staff writer for the Christian Science Monitor, writing for national news on a wide array of topics, including serving as the Midwest Bureau Chief, as an education reporter, and as the Monitor’s science and environment reporter.

“We are thrilled to welcome these new members to our board of trustees,” said Carlos Fernandez, Colorado state director for The Nature Conservancy. “They bring a wealth of knowledge that will help advise our work as we tackle our toughest conservation challenges.  Our new members also add to the diversity of backgrounds that make up our board, providing us with a variety of perspectives that enable us to make the strides needed to meet our mission of protecting the lands and water on which all life depends.” 

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 76 countries and territories—37 by direct conservation impact and 39 through partners—we use a collaborative approach that engages local communities, governments, the private sector, and other partners. To learn more, visit or follow @nature_press on Twitter.