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Marin Ag land group chooses new executive director

Lily Verdone is the new executive director of a Marin-based nonprofit established in 1980 to preserve agriculture land.

Marin Agricultural Land Trust stated before joining its organization, Verdone was senior director of Coastal Quest, an Oakland-based nonprofit building climate resilience for vulnerable coastal communities. She also spent more than a decade with The Nature Conservancy, one of the world’s largest conservation organizations, where she led a range of environmental initiatives in California and Texas.

Verdone also served as conservation director for the Palos Verdes Peninsula Land Conservancy, where she directed scientific research, habitat restoration, stewardship and acquisition for the coastal Los Angeles land trust. Her additional experience includes stints as environmental consultant, research biologist and watershed coordinator. She has been a director on nonprofit boards and is an active volunteer for organizations focusing on social and environmental justice.

Verdone earned a bachelor’s degree in environmental studies and planning and a master’s degree in biology from Sonoma State University. She lives in Petaluma with her husband and two children, the group stated.

As she takes the helm at MALT, Verdone becomes the first woman to officially lead the organization since the Marin County nonprofit was founded by rancher Ellen Straus and conservationist Phyllis Faber in 1980, according to MALT.

“Lily has the leadership expertise, people skills, and the conservation and land trust experience to further build on MALT’s successful work,” stated Jennifer Carlin, who was MALT’s interim executive director and now assumes the deputy director role. “The MALT board, staff and I truly look forward to working with her.”

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