The Nature Conservancy in Pennsylvania & Delaware Welcomes Four New Trustees

Pennsylvania & Delaware

A grassy field with green and brown tall grasses stretched to meet a tree line in the distance with several lush dark green trees.
Middleford North Preserve A view of healthy regrowth at Middleford North Preserve in Delaware © Natasha Whetzel/TNC

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The Nature Conservancy in Pennsylvania and Delaware announced today that Diana Oviedo-Vargas, Ned Rauch-Mannino, Elyse E. Rogers and Neil Shah have been elected to its board of trustees. Each new trustee will serve a three-year term.

“We are thrilled to welcome this distinguished group of leaders to our board,” said Lori Brennan, executive director of The Nature Conservancy in Pennsylvania and Delaware. “Each brings unique knowledge and expertise spanning science, engineering, law and policy that will help guide our programs as we tackle our toughest conservation challenges and work to achieve TNC’s 2030 goals.”

“We’re grateful for the addition of our new trustees, all of whom are passionate about conservation and bring diverse perspectives that will strengthen our organization and advance our mission,” said Carol R. Collier, chair of The Nature Conservancy in Pennsylvania and Delaware’s Board of Trustees.

Diana Oviedo-Vargas is an assistant research scientist at the Stroud Water Research Center and the principal investigator of their Watershed Biogeochemistry Group. She holds a doctoral degree in environmental science from Indiana University and completed postdoctoral research at North Carolina State University. Her work focuses on elemental cycles in streams, rivers and estuaries, along with the ways in which human activities such as agriculture and urbanization affect them. Oviedo-Vargas’ expertise includes aquatic ecosystems ranging all the way from headwaters and rivers to estuaries and oceans.

“I am very honored for the opportunity to serve on the board,” Oviedo-Vargas said.

Quote: Diana Oviedo-Vargas

I am a huge fan of TNC and all the amazing work that they do. I am looking forward to helping in any way I can.

Board Member, TNC in PA/DE Board of Trustees

A former U.S. senior official with the U.S. Department of Commerce and U.S. Agency for International Development, Ned Rauch-Mannino served as the deputy assistant secretary for global operations and senior advisor for global markets to support commercial diplomacy worldwide. He contributed to the launch of multiple trade and investment programs and was a co-chair and secretariat member for the White House’s Prosper Africa initiative. Prior to his federal service, he directed government affairs, strategic consulting and economic development through various roles with the Ridge Policy Group, LLC and the City of Philadelphia’s Urban Industry Initiative. Rauch-Mannino is currently president of Portsmouth Limited Company, an independent strategic consulting and advisory firm, is a member of the board of directors with the Smithsonian-affiliate National Museum of Industrial History and is a non-resident senior fellow with the Foreign Policy Research Institute’s Africa Center.

“It is a privilege to be part of this leading organization and work with its many excellent members toward better outcomes in conservation,” Rauch-Mannino said. 

Quote: Ned Rauch-Mannino

I’m very excited to support the effective, common-sense approaches for advancing energy, sustainability and environmental stewardship here in Pennsylvania and Delaware.

Board Member, TNC in PA/DE Board of Trustees

Elyse E. Rogers is a retired attorney, most recently with Mette Evans & Woodside in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Concentrating in estate planning, business planning, wealth transfer, and estate and trust administration, she has been listed as one of the Best Lawyers in America since 1995 and has been named six times as Harrisburg or Central Pennsylvania Lawyer of the Year. She has received the President’s Award of the Pennsylvania Bar Association and two Special Achievement Awards from that organization. Rogers was named one of Pennsylvania’s 50 Best Women in Business for 2000 by the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development. She currently serves on the board of trustees for Lebanon Valley College and is a former board member for the Whitaker Center for Science and the Arts.

“I’m honored to serve on the board for TNC in Pennsylvania and Delaware,” Rogers said. 

Quote: Elyse E. Rogers

Protecting land and water—locally and globally—while maintaining and building strong communities strikes the right balance, and I hope to be of service in helping TNC meet these goals, particularly here in central Pennsylvania.

Board Member, TNC in PA/DE Board of Trustees

Neil Shah grew up in North Wilmington, Delaware, and graduated from the University of Delaware with a degree in chemical engineering. Trained as an environmental engineer, he has previously held various senior advisory roles with Sunoco and Philadelphia Energy Solutions, including continuous improvement, strategy, and chief sustainability officer. He is the president of Best Hospitality, which owns and operates hotels, and is also the co-founder of ESCOAtlantic, a company focused on reviewing renewable technologies and helping companies of all sizes attain their sustainability goals. His broad background of working with both large and small firms combined with his experience in the energy industry make him uniquely positioned to analyze and develop solutions for today’s climate challenges.

”I am honored to join the Pennsylvania and Delaware Chapter of TNC, an esteemed organization that has used data and science to protect ecosystems around the world for decades,” Shah said.

Quote: Neil Shah

I am thrilled to be a part of this legacy and use my background for positive change in the world around us.

Board Member, TNC in PA/DE Board of Trustees

In Pennsylvania and Delaware, TNC is leading large-scale conservation programs that protect the lands and waters that are critical to the health and well-being of both people and nature. In Pennsylvania, TNC is also working to reduce stormwater runoff in cities, protect vital migration corridors like the Kittatinny Ridge and engage farmers and landowners in supporting the adoption of conservation practices. TNC’s work in Delaware focuses on building resilience against climate change—including along the state’s vulnerable coastlines—to protect human communities and habitats.  

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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.