Statement from Dr. Elizabeth Gray Upon Being Named Division Director of Mid-Atlantic and Central Appalachians at The Nature Conservancy

Outgoing Executive Director of the Maryland and Washington, D.C. chapter of The Nature Conservancy, Dr. Elizabeth Gray, has released the following statement regarding her acceptance of a new position as Division Director of the Mid-Atlantic and Central Appalachians.

BETHESDA, MD | December 07, 2016

“Three and a half years ago, when I became Executive Director for The Nature Conservancy’s Maryland and DC chapter, I came back to a place I have known and loved all my life. Our region’s waters and forests bring me a peace that I feel nowhere else on Earth. Just as importantly, coming back to the culture and people of Maryland and DC reminded me that I had come home.

My love for our unique places and communities has made the years spent working with this chapter such a complete joy, particularly on the days when I got into the field to paddle up Nassawango Creek or trek through the forests of Allegany County.  But I will also miss my days rolling up my sleeves and designing new strategies with our chapter’s incredibly talented staff and dedicated Board of Trustees.  Each is a deeply passionate and committed group of people, and they have been a source of endless inspiration.

It was with their vision, know-how, and optimism that we have set a course for our chapter that will make a significant impact as we look to a future with significant environmental challenges.  We’re developing innovative new approaches to controlling urban stormwater and streamlining rural farming practices that will help keep our water clean while also benefiting urban residents and farmers.  And we’re exploring new ways to help people and nature adapt to a warming climate along our sprawling coastlines and throughout our western forest ranges.  Helping to secure a thriving and prosperous future for Maryland and DC is our guiding star.

As I step up into a new role as the Conservancy’s Division Director of the Mid-Atlantic and Central Appalachians, I am excited to build upon our chapter’s strong conservation legacy and expand our successes in Maryland and DC across the region. I will continue to work to see our chapter’s vision realized, and with Mark Bryer stepping into the role of Acting Director and Allison Vogt as our new Deputy Director, our future is in excellent hands. 

I am truly grateful for the time I served as Executive Director and am excited about the new opportunities I will have to see the chapter and its work grow and blossom.”

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 unprecedented scale, and helping make cities more sustainable. Working in more than 65 countries, 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.

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Matt Kane


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