President and CEO, Chesapeake Conservancy
Joel Dunn is president and CEO of the Chesapeake Conservancy where he provides overall strategic and operational leadership. Joel has responsibility for the organization’s staff, programs and the execution of its mission.
Before joining the Conservancy, Joel conducted government relations and project management in the Chesapeake region for The Conservation Fund. His work helped establish and expand protection for National Parks, National Wildlife Refuges and National Trails, including the Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail. Dunn also worked with David Burke, a Senior Advisor to the Conservancy, to produce "A Sustainable Chesapeake: Better Models for Conservation" - a book highlighting conservation success stories in the Bay.
Joel received a Bachelors of Science degree from The Evergreen State College in 1999, where he focused on ecology and natural history. He received a Master of Environmental Management degree and a Master of Public Policy degree from Duke University in 2004, where he was a Doris Duke Conservation Fellow and served on the student government.
Joel has previous experience working for several other non-profit environmental organizations, such as The Nature Conservancy and NatureServe, State and Federal Government, including as a Wildlife Biologist for Washington State and a Legislative Fellow for United States Senator Joe Lieberman and for a private law firm, Mayer Brown LLC.
In 2006, Joel was on the Technical Advisory Committee for the Virginia Outdoors Plan. In 2009, Dunn received proclamations from the State of Maryland for his work as a member of the Maryland Climate Commission, and the City of Annapolis for his work as a member of the Idea Team to establish more effective, efficient and transparent city government. In 2010, Duke University's Nicholas School of the Environment gave him their Rising Star Award for his work in conservation. In 2010, Dunn also received a certificate in executive education from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. In 2012, Dunn was elected to serve as Chairman of the Partners for Open Space. Dunn is a resident of Annapolis, Maryland, where he is a board member of the Annapolis Conservancy Board.
Learn more about Joel here:
- Read the Spring 2017 Dukenvironment alumni profile.
"My education at the Nicholas School opened doors of opportunity that propelled my conservation career forward. As executive director of the Chesapeake Conservancy, I use my training in ecosystem science and conservation every day. Nicholas School students have a can-do, get-it-done, everyone-pull-together, whatever-it-takes attitude that is required to achieve natural and cultural resource conservation goals."