Alexander Retirement

Nature Forward Executive Director Lisa Alexander

Passing the Torch After an Incredible Run, Executive Director Announces Retirement

Lisa Alexander stepping down after 20 impactful years with Nature Forward

For Immediate Release – May 15, 2024  

For more information contact Lisa Goodnight at  301-523-5394 or 301-450-1478, or Vince Robinson at [email protected], or 904-710-8224   

CHEVY CHASE, MD – After a career dedicated to helping ALL people enjoy, learn about, and protect nature across the DMV, Nature Forward Executive Director Lisa Alexander is ready to pass the baton to new leadership.

Alexander has announced her retirement effective January 2025, saying her role as executive director of Nature Forward, formerly Audubon Naturalist Society, was “the most rewarding job of my career. I appreciate all the ways that our community makes the DC metro region a better place for people and wildlife.”

In her next chapter, Alexander will enjoy her family, travel, and, of course, spend more time in nature. Her departure means Nature Forward will have big shoes to fill.

“Imagine what could be. Now imagine being invited to help build it. It’s an extraordinary thing that few people can do and yet that is exactly how Lisa Alexander has sparked rebirth at Nature Forward – by listening, learning, and imagining what could be and then inviting us to blaze new trails with her.  That’s who Lisa is,” said Nature Forward Board President Nancy Voit. “Consider this phrase – ‘We all need Nature and Nature needs all of us.’ It’s so simple and straightforward and yet there it is – Lisa’s invited all of us to join the movement to save nature right here where we live. Her imagination started a new movement for Nature Forward.”

Expanding Nature Forward’s restoration outreach, conservation advocacy, and environmental education throughout the region, restoring the habitats of Woodend Nature Sanctuary and making its trails wheelchair-accessible, growing the signature Taking Nature Black and Naturally Latinos conferences, and becoming the first, original Audubon organization in the nation to change its name are among Lisa’s many career milestones.

“Not even Roger’s Thesaurus has enough outstanding descriptors for Lisa Alexander’s executive director skills!  It has been a true privilege to serve on the Board of Nature Forward and witness Lisa’s multiple talents, empowering and elevating her staff, inspiring members, and engaging our invaluable donors, while also delivering a fiscally responsible organization offering compelling environmental education programs for all ages. All of us living in the greater DC region can thank Lisa every day for the many treasured moments we each are able to spend enjoying our natural world,” said immediate past Board President Diane Wood.

Alexander assumed Nature Forward’s top post in 2013 after serving as both Deputy Director and Director of Environmental Education at Nature Forward. In 2005, she launched the Nature Forward GreenKids Program, an environmental education partnership with public schools that now delivers free environmental education to more than 10,000 public school students across the region each year.

The Board of Directors has engaged Koya Partners/Diversified Search Group, a national executive search firm widely recognized as a critical leadership resource for mission-driven organizations like Nature Forward. The Koya team will conduct a comprehensive Needs Assessment process, and then publicly launch the search.

Alexander whose love for nature dates back to her childhood in suburban Chicago, called working for Nature Forward, the honor of a lifetime. She is confident that the organization will be in good hands in the future.

“I look forward to passing the torch to a new leader knowing that they will have unwavering support from the generous, visionary Nature Forward community,” she added.



About Nature Forward: Throughout its history, Nature Forward, first established in 1897 as the Audubon Society of the District of Columbia, has championed nature for all by playing a pivotal role in conserving our region’s iconic natural places from development including the C&O Canal, Dyke Marsh and, most recently, Ten Mile Creek. Past member and board president, Rachel Carson, author of Silent Spring, is credited with launching the now global environmental movement. Nature Forward’s nature experts provide hundreds of opportunities each year for people of all ages and abilities to enjoy, learn about, and protect the environment.