North American Land Trust (NALT), a national, not-for-profit land conservation organization, today announced that Stephen Thor Johnson will become President and CEO. He will succeed Andrew L. Johnson (no relation), who founded the organization in 1992.
Stephen Johnson of Lincoln, MA, was selected by the Board of Directors following a year-long search after Andrew Johnson announced his planned retirement last year. He will assume his new role in mid-October. Andrew Johnson will remain active in the organization as a Senior Advisor.
“Andy Johnson has been an incredible mentor to me for nearly 35 years and I’ve had the privilege of working with him since NALT’s inception in 1992,” said John v.H. Halsey, Chair of the Board. “Having devoted most of his life to the stewardship of our natural and cultural heritage, Andy decided that the time has come to turn the reins of leadership over to the next generation. After an exhaustive search, we are thrilled to welcome Stephen, a consummate conservation professional in his own right.”
Stephen Johnson brings more than 25 years of experience in resource conservation, sustainable development and coalition building to his new position. Since 2010, he has served as founding principal of Sage Advisors, a Boston-area conservation organization providing landowners, land trusts and communities with strategy and program design services.
From 2010 – 2011, he served as the Charles Bullard Fellow in Forest Research at Harvard University, where he researched the challenges and opportunities facing smaller land trusts. He also served as Executive Director of the Gallatin Valley Land Trust in Bozeman, MT from 2005 – 2010 and as Executive Director of Sudbury Valley Trustees, a Massachusetts land conservation organization, from 1992 – 2002. He previously held positions in land and water planning and policy in the Massachusetts Executive Office of Environmental Affairs.
Stephen Johnson volunteers as a Trustee of the Conway School in Massachusetts, a graduate school of sustainable landscape planning and design.
“NALT has distinguished itself by being at the forefront of sustainable development,” Stephen Johnson said. “It has carved out a unique space where conservation and limited development harmonize to create places of enduring beauty and function. I am honored to be able to build on Andy Johnson’s exceptional legacy.”
In 1992, Andrew Johnson established North American Land Trust to preserve and manage open space with ecological, agricultural or historical significance. NALT quickly developed a national reputation for its innovative approaches to land conservation. Prior to founding NALT, Andrew Johnson had amassed nearly 20 years of experience with the Brandywine Conservancy and the Natural Lands Trust.
“I know that NALT will be in good hands under Stephen’s stewardship,” said Andrew Johnson. “He shares our passion for conservation as well as our drive to help define sustainable development in the years to come. NALT is very fortunate to welcome Stephen to our organization.”
The nationwide search for NALT’s new leader was led by Kittleman & Associates, a Chicago-based search firm that specializes in non-profit talent searches. More than 70 candidates applied for the position.
Stephen Johnson is a graduate of Dartmouth College, where he earned an A.B. in biology. He also holds a master’s degree in city planning and environmental policy from Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
About North American Land Trust
Established in 1992, the North American Land Trust works to preserve and manage open space that has ecological, agricultural or historic significance. Its unique approach incorporates conservation incentives and limited development rights, allowing it to preserve land that would likely not be preserved under more traditional land trust approaches. NALT has preserved more than 100,000 acres of land across the U.S., through 425 projects.