Nia Keith Named Vice President For Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, And Justice

Release Date:
July 9, 2021

LINCOLN, MA.—Mass Audubon has promoted Nia Keith Vice President for Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Justice (DEIJ), a new executive-level position that will help advance organization-wide DEIJ priorities. 

In her new role, Keith will be responsible for building on and advancing the organization’s DEIJ strategy to ensure it is creating a positive, inclusive, and equitable work environment, and support the organization’s work to create greater access to nature for everyone. As part of this work, she will lead corporate culture change initiatives, including staff and management training and leadership development programs, support the DEIJ Board of Directors’ Committee, and implement programs such as the Mass Audubon Environmental Fellows Program.    

“I am thrilled that Nia is taking on this critically important new role at Mass Audubon, and serving on our Executive staff leadership team,” said President David O’Neill. “I have had the opportunity to work with Nia over the past nine months on the Action Agenda and I have been thoroughly impressed with her overall leadership skills and her devotion to helping Mass Audubon realize its commitment to becoming a more inclusive and more equitable institution.”   

Since 2020, Keith served as Mass Audubon’s statewide Climate Change Education Manager. In this role, she focused on creating standards for program development, delivery, and evaluation of climate change curricula, with an emphasis on climate justice. She also led a team that helped develop the DEIJ goals for the Action Agenda, an ambitious set of initiatives that will guide the organization over the next five years. 

Outside of her work at Mass Audubon, Keith co-founded and has served as an officer with Professionals of Color in the Environment (POCIE; pronounced “posse”). This professional organization for BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) works to collaborate and network throughout the Commonwealth, promoting DEIJ integration into the environmental sector. 

Prior to joining Mass Audubon, she was Director of Professional Development at the Museum of Science from 2016 to 2019, managing the museum’s national team of professional development providers and collaborators. Keith also provided expertise in the field of elementary STEM education through workshops, conference sessions and speaking engagements. 

Earlier in her career, Keith managed Mass Audubon’s education outreach in the City of Lawrence, bringing science and environmental education programs to low-income youth populations. She has also taught science and math at elementary schools in that Merrimack Valley city and in Worcester. 

"I'm excited to be stepping into this new role. The environmental movement has a lot to reckon with—climate change and racial injustice for starters,” Keith said. “I’m honored to be working in an organization devoted to tackling these tough issues with authenticity, resilience, and hope.” 

Keith earned a master's degree in Environmental Studies and Environmental Education from Antioch University New England and a BA in Women’s Studies from the Ohio State University. She will officially start in her new role on July 12. 

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Mass Audubon protects more than 38,000 acres of land throughout Massachusetts, saving birds and other wildlife, and making nature accessible to all. As Massachusetts' largest nature conservation nonprofit, we welcome more than a half million visitors a year to our wildlife sanctuaries and 20 nature centers. From inspiring hilltop views to breathtaking coastal landscapes, serene woods, and working farms, we believe in protecting our state's natural treasures for wildlife and for all people's vision shared in 1896 by our founders, two extraordinary Boston women.

Today, Mass Audubon is a nationally recognized environmental education leader, offering thousands of camp, school, and adult programs that get over 225,000 kids and adults outdoors every year. With more than 135,000 members and supporters, we advocate on Beacon Hill and beyond, and conduct conservation research to preserve the natural heritage of our beautiful state for today's and future generations. We welcome you to explore a nearby sanctuary, find inspiration, and get involved. Learn how at www.massaudubon.org.