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Mass Audubon Hires Jocelyn Forbush as Its First Chief Conservation Officer

Press Release
August 03, 2023

LINCOLN, MA -- Mass Audubon, the largest nature-based conservation organization in New England, has hired renowned environmental leader Jocelyn Forbush as its first Chief Conservation Officer in the organization’s 127-year history.

Forbush, who most recently served as Senior Advisor for Arts & Culture grantmaking with Fidelity Foundation, will lead Mass Audubon’s efforts to protect and restore resilient landscapes, conserve wildlife, and drive nature-based climate solutions across the Commonwealth. Overseeing the land protection and conservation science departments, Forbush will oversee conservation strategies and investments, build both government and non-governmental partnerships, and help guide growing ecological restoration and coastal resilience programs across the Commonwealth.

“We are thrilled that Jocelyn is joining the team and serving as Mass Audubon’s first ever Chief Conservation Officer. Jocelyn’s background as a trained ecologist, her extensive experience, and deep leadership and relationships in this field will be invaluable to the ambitious conservation work Mass Audubon is undertaking,” said President David O’Neill. “As part of our Action Agenda, we have set critical goals to address the biodiversity and climate crises and Jocelyn has the expertise and leadership to help us meet them.”

Prior to her role at Fidelity Foundation, Forbush spent 21 years with The Trustees of Reservations where she held a number of positions including Western Regional Director, Vice President of Program Leadership, and Acting President & CEO. Under Jocelyn’s leadership, The Trustees pioneered conservation within Gateway Cities, established the nationally supported Highland Communities Initiative that led to The Trustees affiliation with Hilltown Land Trust, and led the protection of iconic properties across the state. She was also instrumental in the increased stewardship investment and engagement of more than 50 community gardens in Boston, as well as helping to launch The Trustees’ One Waterfront Initiative.

Jocelyn is a formally trained ecologist and, prior to working with The Trustees, she worked for the Riverways Program of Mass. Division of Fisheries and Wildlife and the Quebec Labrador Foundation. She earned her Master of Forest Science from the Yale School of Forestry, a Master of Music from McGill University, and a Bachelor of Music from Northwestern University.

“I am thrilled and humbled to bring my experience and conservation expertise to the exceptional staff, volunteer and member communities that have made Mass Audubon an impactful and storied organization,” Forbush said. “With its bold vision and leadership, it is uniquely poised to bring solutions to the critical climate change and biodiversity challenges of today – all while providing each of us with the opportunity to experience the joys and wonder of nature.”

Forbush will formally begin her role in early September.

About Mass Audubon

Mass Audubon is the largest nature-based conservation organization in New England. Founded in 1896 by two women who fought for the protection of birds, Mass Audubon carries on their legacy by focusing on the greatest challenges facing the environment today: the loss of biodiversity, inequitable access to nature, and climate change. With the help of our 160,000 members and supporters, we protect wildlife, conserve and restore resilient land, advocate for impactful environmental policies, offer nationally recognized education programs for adults and children, and provide endless opportunities to experience the outdoors at our wildlife sanctuaries. Explore, find inspiration, and take action at massaudubon.org.

Media Contact:

Michael P. O'Connor

Resilient Lands
Birds & Wildlife