VCN Welcomes New Executive Director

The Board of Directors of the Virginia Conservation Network is pleased to announce that Mary Rafferty will be joining VCN as its Executive Director. Mary has spent the last nine years working with nonprofits to advance conservation policies—she brings with her a wealth of advocacy and management experience.

About the opportunity to serve as VCN’s Executive Director, Mary says, “I couldn’t be more excited to take on this important role in Virginia’s conservation community. I look forward to working with network partners, staff, and the Board to defend our healthy rivers, advance clean energy, and grow Virginia’s green communities.”

Mary was a critical VCN ally at the Virginia Chapter of the Sierra Club to help Keep the Ban on uranium mining; during that time she worked closely with Southside partners and residents. She has served as Conservation Program Coordinator for Environment America based in Washington, DC where she worked for full funding of the Land and Water Conservation Fund and to protect public lands through the Antiquities Act. Mary has spent years engaging citizens in the democratic process and strengthening the voice of conservation. The Board and staff are excited to welcome Mary to the Virginia Conservation Network team.

“VCN has a long history of working with our member organizations to protect Virginia’s natural environment, from the mountains of southwest Virginia to the Chesapeake Bay. We are thrilled to have Mary on board to lead the organization through our next chapter of growth. We quickly recognized that she is the kind of consensus-building leader who will help Virginia’s environmental community speak with one voice on the issues of greatest concern,” adds VCN Board President Cale Jaffe.

Mary will be attending the Environmental Assembly in Charlottesville on September 9-10. We hope you can join us for the full program on Saturday as well as the evening reception on Friday to welcome her. Mary will be returning to Virginia to begin her Executive Director role full time on December 1. To continue supporting VCN’s transition, Emily Francis will remain as the Interim Executive Director until that time.