Staff Experts

Nikki Rovner

Associate State Director, External Affairs

Nikki works to foster strong partnerships with government agencies and other organizations, while advocating for the Conservancy’s policy priorities with state and federal decision makers.

Nikki gained experience as a legislative staffer prior to joining the Conservancy, and then later served as Deputy Secretary of Natural Resources in the administration of Governor Tim Kaine.

Nikki on Why Her Work is Rewarding

“Conservation is my passion, both because of its importance for the future of our planet and because it’s endlessly fascinating. It’s what I’ve wanted to do ever since I started reading Ranger Rick as a child. I feel incredibly lucky that my career centers on learning about and advocating for the natural world.”

Program Benefits
  • State and federal funding and tax incentives for land conservation projects
  • Strong partnerships with state and federal agencies that share many of our conservation goals
  • Continual refinement of market-based policies that enable conservation work, including land preservation tax credits, nutrient trading, and wetland and stream mitigation
  • Policies and practices to protect forests in the Central Appalachians, healthy streams in the Chesapeake Bay watershed, and healthy populations of fish and other marine animals in the Atlantic Ocean
 Hopes for the Next 3-5 years

“My goal is for every elected official to recognize stewardship of our natural resources as a core function of government.  Together, we can shape public policy to ensure the health of our lands and waters for generations to come.”

Key Partners
  • State agencies: Department of Conservation and Recreation, Dept. of Game & Inland Fisheries, Dept. of Forestry, Dept. of Environmental Quality, Virginia Outdoors Foundation
  • Conservation groups: Piedmont Environmental Council, Chesapeake Bay Foundation, Virginiaforever, member organizations of Virginia’s United Land Trusts
  • J.D. University of Richmond, 1994
  • B.S. Wildlife Science, Penn State, 1991
  • Adjunct Faculty, Virginia Commonwealth University Center for Environmental Studies, 2014 –  2016
  • Appointee, Virginia Climate Change and Resiliency Update Commission, 2014 - 2015
  • Appointee, Joint Subcommittee to Formulate Recommendations to Address Recurrent Flooding, 2014 –  present
  • Executive Board, Virginiaforever, 2011 – present (Vice Chair)
  • Board, Virginia State Bar Environmental Law Section, 2011 – 2014
  • Chair, Virginia’s United Land Trusts, 2011 – 2012  



Nikki Rovner

Associate State Director, External Affairs