Sonoran Institute – Phoenix, Arizona

Project Manager, Western Lands & Communities Program, November 2006 – present

Responsible for coordinating a variety of research, project management, and outreach activities for the Western Lands and Communities joint venture between the Sonoran Institute and the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, focusing on the state trust lands & public lands management program and the climate change and land use planning program. Responsible for oversight and implementation for the research and policy analysis agenda on land use in the West, tool development to support local governments and state trust land agencies, model projects highlighting research findings and best practices, capacity building activities, communication strategies to disseminate research and policy analyses, and annual evaluations of the program.

Key Projects:

  • Research and policy analysis, publications, and conference presentations on a variety of issues related to state trust lands in the West, including total asset management, planning, conservation, and governance.
  • Research and analysis, publications, and conference presentations on climate change in the West and land use planning strategies to mitigate and adapt to changing climate conditions.
  • Represented the Sonoran Institute on the Superstition Vistas Steering Committee, a multi-stakeholder long-term visioning and planning process for 275 square miles of urban trust lands.
  • Planned and coordinated a variety of training sessions, research roundtables, experts workshops, webinars, and online learning modules on topics ranging from sustainable development, climate change, strategic conservation planning and priority setting, state trust land management, and other Western Lands & Communities program activities.
  • Ongoing evaluation and strategic assessments of projects associated with the Western Lands & Communities joint venture program on growth and development in the West.

Arizona League of Conservation Voters/AZLCV Education Fund – Phoenix, Arizona

Executive Director, October 2005 – November 2006

Deputy Director, November 2001 – October 2005

As Executive Director, was responsible for all aspects of programs and operations for the Arizona League of Conservation Voters, its 501(c)3 sister organization, the AZLCV Education Fund, and affiliated PAC – the AZLCV Committee for the Environment. Managed all organizational programs, including overall strategic planning and vision for both organizations, legislative and state agency lobbying and advocacy, electoral strategy and activities to support pro-conservation candidates and ballot measures, gubernatorial and other citizen government appointments analyses and recommendations, coalition work within the conservation and broader progressive community around mutual goals and issues, voter identification, engagement and education programs, and fundraising and membership building to support organizational programs. Responsible for overall office administration and management, including three full-time staff split between Phoenix and Tucson offices, and board governance and relations.

As Deputy Director, was responsible for advocacy and electoral program development and management, lobbying for the League’s legislative priorities at the state capital, advocacy on behalf of the League with Governor’s office, agencies, and other stakeholder processes, annual development of the League’s conservation issue platform and legislative priorities, publication of the annual Legislative Scorecard, organizing and implementing electoral strategies, including candidate and ballot measure campaigns, and management of Phoenix office staff. Other duties included coalition building within the Arizona conservation community through the Arizona Conservation Alliance and annual Conservation Summits, candidate recruiting and assessment of political candidates for endorsement, media and voter outreach efforts, policy analysis, fundraising and grant reporting, member outreach, and web content development.

Key Achievements:

  • Re-initiated a strong, field-based membership building program and strategy to reverse a trend of falling membership and begin rebuilding the political and fundraising strength of the organization, and recruited high-profile, experienced board members to re-energize organizational strategies.
  • Shifted primary operations for both organizations to Phoenix in order to focus efforts on advocacy at the state capitol and on electoral change.
  • Played a key role in forming the Arizona Conservation Alliance, a broad coalition of conservation and community groups dedicated to protecting the environment by collaborating and pooling resources, after organizing and convening the first annual Conservation Summit in Arizona.
  • Serving as both treasurer and steering committee member for the 2002 “No on Prop 101” and 2004 “Defend Arizona’s Democracy” ballot campaigns, defeated Prop 101 (state trust land exchange authority) in 2002, and defeated Prop 100 (land exchange), and Prop 104 (citizen’s initiative limitations) in 2004.
  • Successfully advocated to recruit and appoint conservation-friendly candidates to critical state agency positions and governing bodies.
  • Represented AZLCV in state trust land reform negotiations spanning over five years, culminating in the Conserving Arizona’s Future ballot initiative in 2006.
  • Established a permanent presence for AZLCV at the state capitol, serving as the organizational representative in the policy arena, including State Legislature, Governor’s office, state agencies, business community, and with other allied and progressive organizations.

Sonoran Institute – Tucson, Arizona

Research Assistant, September 1998 –December 2001

Primary duties included research and outreach on state trust land and growth management issues, community stewardship organizations (CSOs), and the Sonoran Institute’s program on integrating conservation into development. Provided ongoing support for several CSOs, including the Las Virgenes Institute in Ventura County, California, the Rincon Institute in Tucson, Arizona, the Kaibab Institute in northern Arizona, and the Santa Lucia Conservancy near Carmel, California, and provided research and support to the executive director as a member of the Arizona Governor’s Growing Smarter Commission. Led grassroots campaign on ballot measure (leading to successful defeat of Proposition 100 in 2000), represented Sonoran Institute in stakeholder negotiations related to state trust land reform, and conducted a comprehensive organizational effectiveness assessment for Sonoran Institute.

Dartmouth Medical School, Center for Evaluative Clinical Sciences – Hanover, New Hampshire

Assistant to the Director, October 1996 – June 1998