Celebrating Women in Conservation: Cindy Dunn

Hilary Falk, Cindy Dunn and Collin O'Mara. Photo by Grant LaRouche
Cindy Dunn honored by NWF’s Hilary Harp Falk and President Collin O’Mara. Photo by Grant LaRouche
In recognition of Women’s History Month, National Wildlife Federation is celebrating Women in Conservation.   The state of Pennsylvania has a great tradition of women in conservation including the founder of the modern environmental movement, Rachel Carson. The other day I had the pleasure of watching another incredible Pennsylvanian, Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) Acting Secretary Cindy Dunn, honored for conservation achievement.

Cindy Dunn was honored on March 12 by the National Wildlife Federation for her contributions and achievements in the environmental field. Her work to reduce carbon pollution, promote clean energy, and protect wildlife and their habitats from the risks of climate change has made her a recipient of the Women in Conservation Award, given to those deserving women that have shown exceptional leadership and dedication to conservation and climate action.

“Cindy is a true asset to the conservation community,” said Collin O’Mara, president and CEO of the National Wildlife Federation. “We at NWF believe that highlighting and bringing women into the environmental story is important to reach the common goal of protecting all people, communities, landscapes and our precious wildlife from the impacts of climate change.”

I met Cindy Dunn over 25 years ago, well before I was thinking about my own career in the environmental field. Throughout this time in positions with Audubon Pennsylvania, Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay, DCNR and most recently as CEO of PennFuture, the NWF Pennsylvania state affiliate, she has demonstrated pragmatic and thoughtful conservation leadership and pursued it with great passion and humor.

Collin O’Mara put it best “The leadership that she’s demonstrated in Pennsylvania – whether it’s land conservation or promoting outdoor recreation, or improving water quality, or reducing carbon pollution – it puts her among the top female conservationists across the entire country.”

I look forward to following her next chapter, as Secretary of DCNR and watching the difference a true conservation leader can make.