After conducting a nationwide search, Conservation Colorado today announced Kelly Nordini will be its new Executive Director. Nordini is an experienced conservationist, political strategist, and policy expert. Her decades of experience at the intersection of Colorado politics and conservation policy and her vision for the future of Conservation Colorado distinguished her from an extraordinary field of more than 100 candidates.
Nordini has extensive experience in public policy, political strategy and campaigns, and community organizing, as well as a background in management. She was previously a partner at Hilltop Public Solutions, where she led efforts to advance clean energy policies in Colorado. She has also held leadership positions at Western Conservation Foundation and Project New America, and she served as Deputy Chief of Staff for Governor Bill Ritter.
“Kelly is the leader we need to build on our legacy of advocacy and help mobilize the growing population of conservation-minded Coloradans to achieve even greater public policy success across the state,” said Diane Carman, Conservation Colorado board chair. “The fast-moving political environment demands that we are continuously adapting to meet our goals—protecting public lands, conserving water, and ensuring a healthy future for all Coloradans. Kelly will bring political savvy, strong relationships, and a deep commitment to organizing to lead Conservation Colorado into this new chapter.”
“I am so excited to join the exceptional team at Conservation Colorado, and I can’t wait to get started,” said Kelly Nordini. “We have so much to do in the next three months to ensure a pro-conservation Governor and state legislature. The organization is growing and in an incredibly strong position to advocate for bold policies that ensure we protect the Colorado we all love. I’m thrilled to be able to take on these challenges with such smart, thoughtful colleagues.”
Nordini has a deep history in Colorado, and the announcement of her new role was praised by leaders from across the state.
“This is a great move for Conservation Colorado. Kelly has a successful record of bringing people together to find creative solutions. With her at the helm, I have no doubt they will continue fighting to ensure Colorado has the cleanest air and water possible,” said Governor John Hickenlooper.
“Protecting our air, land, and water is critical to our state’s future, especially to the diverse communities that call Colorado home. I know Kelly will continue the transformational work of Conservation Colorado to ensure that it remains a model for conservation efforts across the country,” said Speaker of the House Crisanta Duran.
“Conservation Colorado’s work for our state is invaluable. I am confident in Kelly’s ability to continue moving our state forward. I look forward to continuing our strong partnership and protecting our public lands, clean water, and clean air,” said Senate Minority Leader Leroy M. Garcia.
“Ever since my time with Governor Owens, I have appreciated Kelly’s desire and ability to work across the aisle and with a variety of Colorado interest groups,” said Mike Beasley, Former Legislative Director for Gov. Owens and President of 5280 Strategies. “I look forward to working with her to ensure that we protect the environment and create economic prosperity across the state.”
Conservation Colorado is the largest state-based environmental organization in the country with nearly 40 staff in Denver and four field offices as well as 40,000 members across the state. The organization spent $1.3 million in the 2016 elections and had a 90 percent win rate of its endorsed candidates.