Board of Directors

SCA is led by a diverse group of Board Members ranging from leaders in both the public and private sectors who care deeply about the stewardship of our land and the empowerment of young people as conservation leaders. See List of Board members.

Leadership Team

SCA’s Leadership Team is also comprised of leading experts in the field of conservation, partnership development, philanthropy, marketing and corporate relations. Together, they mentor and guide a staff of over 150 national employees. See Leadership Team bios.

SCA Founder, Liz Putnam

Visionary is an accurate word to describe Liz Putnam. Launching an American conservation service powered exclusively by young people would be ambitious today, but considering that she conceived of the idea in 1953—at age 20—makes her all the more remarkable. While still attending Vassar College, Liz  modeled SCA on the 1930s Civilian Conservation Corps. and enlisted student volunteers to assist with the upkeep of U.S. national parks and public spaces.  Be motivated by Liz’s story.

President’s Council

The President’s Council is comprised of distinguished philanthropic, corporate, conservation and youth development leaders from across the country who have agreed to promote SCA’s mission, advise on strategic matters, and assist in raising public and private funds.

Board of Directors

Mamie Parker *Chairperson

Kathy Bonavist
New York
Ethel Branch
Gail Carmody
Lena Hickman-Miott 
Steve Howell
Karen Kress
David Leathers
Natalie Mebane
Shanelle Smith Whigham
Andrew Sutherland
Terri Thomas
Bob Vogel
Anna Wadhams 
Carol Wren

SCA Honorary Directors

Elizabeth Titus Putnam
Founding President
Martha Hayne Talbot

Leadership Team

Stephanie Meeks, President and Chief Executive Officer

Appointed in April, 2020, Stephanie has extensive leadership experience in both the conservation and nonprofit sectors. She served in several senior roles with The Nature Conservancy, including interim president, chief operating officer, chief administrative officer, and chief marketing and philanthropy officer over an 18 year period. She also was president of the National Trust for Historic Preservation for eight years. It was there that she launched the HOPE Crew program to engage a new generation of preservationists. Additionally, Stephanie led the creation of a multi-year strategic plan, successfully completed a capital campaign, and established the Trust’s African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund to convey a fuller accounting of American history.

Barbara Gonzalez-McIntosh, General Counsel & SVP-Executive Initiatives and Organizational Planning

Barbara has over twenty years experience as a tax-exempt organization attorney leading 501(c)(3) public and private charities as well as 501(c)(4) and 527/political committee organizations.  Before joining SCA, she held senior leadership positions with the Pew Charitable Trusts, National Wildlife Federation, and the League of Conservation Voters where her work included corporate law, organizational and board governance, enterprise risk assessment and management, contracts and litigation management, and campaign finance law, lobbying and ethics compliance. She is also an active champion for forging a more diverse conservation community, currently serving on the management board of the US Fish and Wildlife Service’s Diversity Joint Venture and Rachel’s Network’s Diversity Committee. Barbara serves on the boards of the Alliance for Justice and Rachel’s Network and participates in certain grantmaking decisions of the McIntosh Foundation. Barbara has chosen her work and civic activities to compliment her conservation values and is proud to work at SCA for the next generation of conservation leaders.

Jay Watson, Western Regional Vice President

Jay joined SCA in November 2004.  His responsibilities include program and partnership development, major donor, foundation, and corporate advancement in the West, government relations, media outreach, and staff management.  Prior to joining the staff of SCA, Jay spent nineteen years with The Wilderness Society, fourteen of which were in California, where he was regional director.  His past positions include five years as a wilderness ranger with the U.S. Forest Service in the Trinity Alps Wilderness in northern California and three years as executive director of the Camp Unalayee Association, a non profit wilderness youth camp, also in the Trinity Alps. Jay serves on the Board of Directors of the California Fire Safe Council and graduated from Humboldt State University with a B.S. in Wildlife Management. Jay and his wife Kathleen live in the Town of Sonoma, and have two sons, Thomas (18) and Charlie (16).

Lauren Kass Harnishfeger, Vice President for Individual Giving and Foundation Relations

A career fundraising officer, Ms. Harnishfeger joined SCA in January 2015, having previously served as Vice President for Development with the National Building Museum. Prior to that, she held leadership positions with the National Park Foundation, Mount Vernon Estate and Gardens, and the Smithsonian Institution. Harnishfeger holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Art History from Trinity College, a postgraduate diploma in the Fine and Decorative Arts awarded by the Royal Society of Arts in London, and a Master of Arts in Museum Studies from George Washington University. She and her family reside in Arlington, VA.

Noordin Moloo, Chief Financial and Administrative Officer

Noordin brings 30 years of finance and administrative experience to SCA, having served as director of finance, controller, vice president of finance, and chief financial officer for for-profit companies and non-profit organizations. A proven leader and mentor, also he has managed information technology, real estate, investments, and US grant audits and compliance over his career. Noordin completed his Master of Business Administration at Southern Methodist University and his B.A. in Commerce and Accounting from Karachi University (Pakistan). He is an active Certified Public Accountant. 

Matt Gray, Senior Vice President of Programs

A five-time SCA alumnus, Matt has dedicated his career to sustainability, climate, and conservation initiatives at the federal, municipal, and community levels. He held the office of chief of sustainability for the City of Cleveland. During his seven years with the City, he convened 90 organizations to co-create the Cleveland Climate Action Plan, which won the 2019 American Planning Association award for “best community sustainability or resiliency plan.” Matt is a former Fulbright Fellow with the U.S. Department of State in Mauritius, a Presidential Management Fellow with the U.S. Department of Energy, and an energy management consultant with Accenture, the global management consultancy. He holds a dual BS/BA (Industrial Engineering and Anthropology) from the University of Pittsburgh and earned his Master’s in Public Administration from Columbia University. 

Bridget Nelson, Vice President of People & Culture

As Vice President of People & Culture, Bridget Nelson (she/her) guides the strategic development and management of the organization’s HR function, including staff and member recruitment, compliance, and organizational culture. Bridget holds a SHRM Senior Certified Professional (SHRM-SCP) certification designation and brings expertise in recruitment, organizational and professional development, diversity, equity & inclusion, benefits administration, and employee relations.