Image of a forest in Vermont
Vermont Forest A mixture of mature hardwoods with hemlocks or spruces is the ideal nesting habitat for Blackburnian warblers. © David Middleton


The Nature Conservancy Appoints Lauren Oates as Director of Government Relations and Policy

Media Contacts

  • Eve Frankel
    Director of Strategic Communications
    Phone: 802.595.5000

The Nature Conservancy in Vermont (TNC) is pleased to announce that after a competitive regional search, Lauren Oates has been named director of Government Relations and Policy. Oates has been with TNC for two years as the Climate and Clean Energy Policy Manager and interim Director of Government Relations and Policy.

“As we face the dual crises of accelerated biodiversity loss and climate change, I see policy playing an important role in securing the health of our natural and human communities into the future.

I am excited to work with policymakers on both state and federal initiatives to safeguard a sustainable and resilient future for all,” said Oates.

Oates will be working with elected and appointed officials in state government, Vermont’s congressional delegation and nongovernmental partners to make meaningful progress toward natural-based solutions, forest and freshwater health, resilient communities and emissions reductions. “Leading with science, The Nature Conservancy develops pragmatic solutions to issues impacting both nature and people. With a background in biology, I enjoy working alongside my TNC colleagues in Vermont and beyond to amplify science-backed climate solutions both in the field and around decision-making tables,” she said.

“The way in which we protect, restore and manage our lands and waters around the world has the potential to unlock 37% of the emissions reductions needed to hold global warming below 2 degrees Celsius,” said Heather Furman, Vermont state director. “Sound public policy is a critical tool to help reach our goal of creating a resilient Vermont and planet for all.”  

Oates lives in East Montpelier with her husband and two dogs. Before joining TNC in 2019, Oates worked for the State of Vermont advancing flood resilience initiatives across the state. She earned her master’s and bachelor’s degrees in biology, with a strong focus on climate change mitigation and adaptation. 

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 or follow @nature_press on Twitter.