The National Wildlife Federation Hosts Women’s Leadership Summit

335 women from across the conservation community were invited, with an eye toward diversity and inclusivity

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The National Wildlife Federation is hosting the second annual Women in Conservation Leadership Summit this week, March 13-15, 2018, at the Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay in Cambridge, Maryland.

This invitation-only event is expected to bring together more than 335 multigenerational women in the field of conservation from 125 organizations, agencies and businesses. The summit’s theme is “Elevate, Empower, Embolden.”

“Empowering women is a key part of strengthening the conservation movement,” said Collin O’Mara, president and CEO of the National Wildlife Federation. “For more than 80 years, the National Wildlife Federation has sought to be a ‘big tent,’ bringing together people and organizations with diverse interests around our common goal of conserving wildlife and their habitats. I’m personally proud that we are elevating women leaders to ensure the conservation community reflects the full diversity of our nation.”

Last year, the first-ever Women in Conservation Leadership Summit brought together 150 women from across the National Wildlife Federation family—people from the organization’s affiliates, staff, and board.

“At our first summit, we had an open and frank discussion of the barriers and opportunities we face, and we set individual and group commitments to take action,” Elizabeth Lillard, Women in Conservation Leadership Program Coordinator. “It was such a transformative experience, we wanted to make the event open to more women in the field of conservation, not just women who are connected to the National Wildlife Federation.”

The event was made possible by support from many individuals and organizations. Martha Darling, the chair of the National Wildlife Federation Action Fund, and Nicole Wood, a National Wildlife Federation board member, were especially generous individual donors. Several conservation non-profits are also supporting the event, in particular Ducks Unlimited and the Nature Conservancy as well as Freshwater Future, Natural Resources Defense Council, Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership, American Rivers, the Isaak Walton League and the Coastal Conservation Association of Maryland. Brown Advisory was also a significant supporter of the event.

“We were so pleased we were able to invite women from across the conservation and environmental community with an eye toward being inclusive and diverse, said Chanté Coleman, director of the Choose Clean Water Coalition for the National Wildlife Federation. “We believe that empowering women—and men—from diverse backgrounds will make us more effective as we advocate for the well-being of fish and wildlife and the habitats and conditions they need.”

The opening plenary and select other session will be streamed live on the National Wildlife Federation’s Mid-Atlantic Regional Office's Facebook page. Participants at the summit will be using the hashtag #WomenLead2018.

Claudia Malloy, Associate Vice President for Advocacy Campaigns, said, “This summit is a unique opportunity to deeply explore what it means to be a woman leader, how our similarities and differences can make us stronger individuals and stronger collectively, and what we as a community need in order to continue growing as leaders within the conservation movement.”

Terramar Consulting Group, Wolf & Heron, and The Raben Group helped design the agenda and will facilitate the event.

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