NWF Names Simone Lightfoot Director, National Urban Initiatives

Move to bolster conservation work in front-line communities across the country

Ann Arbor, MI – The National Wildlife Federation has named Simone Lightfoot as director of national urban initiatives, where she will help bolster the organization’s conservation work in urban communities across the country. Previously Lightfoot oversaw the National Wildlife Federation’s work in 11 cities in the Great Lakes region, where she helped engage communities on a range of conservation and environmental issues—from aging infrastructure to urban habitats to lack of access to clean, affordable drinking water in places like Flint, Mich.

“Simone Lightfoot has the experience, track record, passion, and drive to help ensure that as we work to solve the conservation challenges of our time, we are standing arm-in-arm with front-line communities to ensure that every American benefits,” said Collin O’Mara, President and Chief Executive Officer of the National Wildlife Federation.

Lightfoot, an Air Force veteran who went on to serve as a deputy chief of staff in the Michigan House of Representatives and state director for voter empowerment for the national NAACP, presently oversees the National Wildlife Federation’s outreach to urban communities in the Great Lakes region. With this promotion, Lightfoot will expand that portfolio to work throughout the country on conservation and wildlife issues that impact front-line communities, from access to clean and affordable water to urban impacts of climate change to the transition of post-industrial urban centers. Her work will include connecting NWF’s existing work in key urban communities around the nation to national social justice and environmental justice organizations, fostering national alliances and partnerships, and expanding NWF relationships with urban elected leaders at the national level.

“I am excited to do my part in helping ensure that our urban centers play a vital role in shaping a modern conservation agenda that leads to a cleaner, healthier environment and better quality of life for all of our nation’s vibrant and diverse communities,” said Lightfoot. “The success of our conservation movement will depend on whether we extend the promise of safer and healthier communities to all communities. As a nation, we have a long way to go on that front, but by working together, I am confident that we can get there.”

Lightfoot assumes her new position on September 1, 2016.

Get Involved

Where We Work

More than one-third of U.S. fish and wildlife species are at risk of extinction in the coming decades. We're on the ground in seven regions across the country, collaborating with 52 state and territory affiliates to reverse the crisis and ensure wildlife thrive.

Learn More
Regional Centers and Affiliates