The Nature Conservancy in Texas Announces New State Director
Suzanne Scott, the current general manager of the San Antonio River Authority, will lead the Texas Chapter.
The Nature Conservancy in Texas announced today that Suzanne Scott, longtime general manager of the San Antonio River Authority, will join the organization as its State Director in November 2020. Scott has dedicated a significant portion of her life to protecting and restoring the environment, connecting communities with the natural resources around them via access and advocacy, and propelling forward on-the-ground projects that support social, environmental, and economic values. With Texas’ environmental challenges growing and swift action necessary, the more than 25 years of executive leadership, partnership experience, and innovative vision Scott brings to the chapter could not have come at a better time.
“As State Director, I will lead a respected team of conservationists to grow the work and reach of The Nature Conservancy and mitigate impacts of rapid population growth and climate change within urban and rural communities," said Scott. “An urgent need to promote the inherent connections between nature and people has never been more evident, and I look forward to advancing programs that improve the future sustainability and resiliency of Texas.”
Since 2007, Scott has led the San Antonio River Authority—steadfastly elevating the agency’s crucial role and impact. She has implemented in excess of $600 million of highly visible projects during her time here, including work on the Museum Reach and Mission Reach of the San Antonio River Improvements Project and San Pedro Creek Culture Park. She has also guided the development of successful programs to improve flood protection, water quality, habitat, nature-based recreation, and access to the river and its tributaries. In this position, Scott has been responsible to an elected Board of Directors and managed the agency’s annual budget of $374 million—including an annual operating budget of $39 million. She has empowered and collaborated with a staff of 300 scientists, engineers, field crews, and others to build partnerships and deliver projects to benefit the health of the San Antonio River and the communities who rely on it.
“Scott has a proven capability for aligning diverse partners around a shared vision and securing the resources needed to protect our lands and waters in a way that enables people to thrive,” said Michael Reuter, Midwest Division Director of The Nature Conservancy. “She is uniquely positioned to shepherd TNC in Texas as we look ahead to the future opportunities and challenges we face.”
During Scott’s tenure with the agency, the San Antonio River Authority achieved transformational success by creating and empowering organizational culture, strengthening its strategic vision, securing stable funding, and engaging diverse stakeholders across the corporate and public sectors to help guide and deliver on its numerous restoration and access projects throughout the watershed. Her ability to create impact-driven partnerships with local, regional, state, and national organizations has garnered critical recognition for both Scott and the San Antonio River Authority. Scott was recognized with the Water for Life Award by leaders of the San Antonio business community and, under her leadership, the San Antonio River was awarded the prestigious Thiess International Riverprize by the International RiverFoundation.
She served on a number of relevant boards, including as chair for the South Central Texas Regional Water Planning Group and the Guadalupe and San Antonio Rivers Bay and Basin Area Stakeholder Group. Most recently, she was chosen to lead the Interregional Planning Council, created by the Texas Water Development Board. Her strategic leadership has enabled her to work directly with business and community leaders within the San Antonio area to advance sustainable development practices while promoting the value of the river to local history, culture, tourism, and community pride. Scott’s extensive experience in flood management and ecosystem restoration as part of the San Antonio River Authority has led to her speaking frequently on how to best manage rivers in a rapidly growing urbanized basin—important topics that reach all corners of the Lone Star State.
“We need bold leadership to tackle the pressing conservation challenges in Texas,” said Jack Long, Board Chairman of The Nature Conservancy in Texas. “Scott’s expertise and vision will help us deliver tangible solutions to those solutions across the Lone Star State.”
Scott obtained her undergraduate degree from the Texas Tech University and a Master of Science in Urban Administration from Trinity University. A true San Antonian at heart, Scott was raised in the city near the San Antonio River and will be based in San Antonio as she takes on this executive leadership position at The Nature Conservancy in Texas.
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 79 countries and territories, we use a collaborative approach that engages local communities, governments, the private sector, and other partners. To learn more, visit www.nature.org or follow @nature_press on Twitter.