RESTON, Va. — The National Wildlife Federation, America’s largest and most trusted conservation organization with 53 state and territorial affiliates and more than 6 million members and supporters, announced three new members of its senior leadership team: Associate Vice President for Programs and Equity Kaila Drayton, Associate Vice President for Environmental Justice and Climate Justice Simone Lightfoot, and Associate Vice President for Policy and Government Affairs Abby Tinsley.
These changes will strengthen the Federation’s work for equity and environmental justice, along with its advocacy for wildlife and people across the United States.
“The National Wildlife Federation has been a leading voice in efforts to find collaborative conservation solutions that help wildlife and people alike thrive. Kaila, Simone, and Abby are some of the foremost voices on equity, environmental justice, and public policy, respectively — and I look forward to working with them and their teams to address the issues we face today,” said Collin O’Mara, president and CEO of the National Wildlife Federation. “As we continue to expand our work, these organizational changes will help us and our affiliates across the country authentically engage with the communities most impacted by the climate crisis and effects of environmental racism, and strengthen our advocacy for wildlife and people alike.”
“Now is a momentous and critical time for National Wildlife Federation to commit to being an anti-racist organization,” said Kaila Drayton. “I am grateful to have this opportunity to serve staff of color and to dismantle oppressive operational and financial systems and processes that have historically led to inequities. I commit to leading with transparency and accountability and I’m looking forward to fostering the collaborative partnerships necessary to build a more equitable and inclusive organization from the inside out.”
As associate vice president for programs and equity, Drayton will apply an equity lens to the organization’s programmatic policies and processes to cultivate culture change and ensure staff with marginalized identities receive equitable funding opportunities, compensation, and recognition.
"Since 2009, it has been my passion to design and lead the race-based, urban initiatives, and environmental justice work at the National Wildlife Federation,” said Simone Lightfoot. “It has meant building a new body of work in new places, spaces, and communities while centering Black people and communities of color by design and with intentionality. I look forward to continuing that work.”
As associate vice president for environmental justice and climate, Lightfoot will direct the National Wildlife Federation's environmental justice and climate justice initiatives. She also will continue to manage urban and constituency-based partnerships.
“With a new administration and Congress working to tackle simultaneous challenges, federal advocacy has never been more important,” said Abby Tinsley. “I’m deeply proud to lead the National Wildlife Federation’s Government Affairs team as we work to strengthen our relationships with both parties and advance our climate, wildlife, environmental justice, and conservation policy priorities.”
Tinsley, in her new role as associate vice president for policy and government affairs, will direct the National Wildlife Federation's work on Capitol Hill and throughout the federal government to achieve the organization's public policy and legislative goals.
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