The session will feature two leaders who are instrumental in shaping new models for land conservation in the northeastern United States and around the globe. The first is Nan Jenks-Jay, Dean of Environmental Affairs at Middlebury College. Nan will describe Middlebury's multiyear effort to protect in perpetuity a key 2,100-acre area in Vermont's Green Mountains that is home to Middlebury's Bread Loaf campus -- a revered spot where generations of writers have sharpened their talents in the presence of such luminaries as the poet Robert Frost. Following Nan will be Laura Johnson, Director of the International Land Conservation Network (ILCN), a project of the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy. Laura will consider the ILCN's recent progress, including the hosting of its first Congress in Berlin, Germany in October 2015 -- a gathering in some 90 private and civic sector conservationists from 27 nations gathered to share insights in the fields of conservation finance, law and policy, organization and program administration, as well as stewardship strategies.
Nan Jenks-Jay is Dean of Environmental Affairs, Director of the Franklin Environmental Center, and teaches in the Environmental Studies program at Middlebury College. Jenks-Jay is a leading voice in higher education -- advancing ways colleges and universities can lead and impact positive change in the world. Her work has influenced institutions across the country and globally through strategic partnerships. As a scientist, educator, and administrator, she has extensive experience in ecological systems, land conservation, and affecting systemic organizational change. Nan and her husband, Carl Phelps, own and operate Miller Hill Farm -- a native tree and plant nursery in Vermont.
Laura Johnson is a lifelong conservationist with more than 30 years’ experience in nonprofit management who currently serves as the Director of the International Land Conservation Network as well as Chair of the Board of Directors of the Land Trust Alliance. Laura is a recent past president of Mass Audubon where she spent 14 years leading the country’s largest independent state Audubon organization. Prior to joining Mass Audubon, she worked for 16 years at The Nature Conservancy working both as a lawyer and in positions including Massachusetts state director and northeast region vice president.
James Levitt (moderator)
Jim Levitt, who focuses on historic and present-day innovation in the field of land conservation, is Director of the Program on Conservation Innovation at the Harvard Forest, Harvard University (harvardforest.fas.harvard.edu) and a Fellow in the Department of Planning and Urban Form at the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy (www.lincolninst.edu).