Chris Canfield Named New CTNC Executive Director

The Conservation Trust for North Carolina is excited to announce Chris Canfield as its new Executive Director. Chris has a deep history of collaboration with the land trust community across North Carolina and the country. He is committed to solutions that honor complex relationships, balancing conservation and economic needs. Chris has the vision and leadership to serve as a voice for the 23 NC land trust partners as we play a growing role in conservation policies and issues across North Carolina.

CTNC selected Chris through a nationwide hiring search led by moss+ross, a triangle-based search firm.

“We could not be more excited with the hiring of Chris given his talent, his commitment to our core mission, and his extensive knowledge of our state and the issues it now faces,” said CTNC Board President Ray Owens. “With his help, and with that of our staff and dedicated donors, we are well-positioned to meet the challenges of conserving our land and protecting the quality of our water.”

“CTNC plays a pivotal role in the history of North Carolina’s conservation movement and must continue to lead and serve as the challenges of our state change,” said CTNC Executive Director Chris Canfield. “I am proud to guide the CTNC team and further the organization’s commitment to land conservation, community engagement, and expanding the diversity of those working in the conservation field.

Canfield added, “It’s a privilege and tremendous opportunity to continue CTNC’s leadership. Together, we can create a future where every North Carolinian, regardless of background or geography, has access to clean water, healthy air, local foods, and open spaces where they can connect with nature.”

Before joining CTNC, Chris worked with the National Audubon Society for 17 years as the executive director of Audubon North Carolina and VP for the Gulf and Mississippi Flyway. Chris led Audubon’s response to the Deepwater Horizon disaster where he successfully implemented Gulf-wide conservation efforts in concert with federal and state agencies, local communities, land trusts, and national funders. In 2009 he was awarded the Charles H. Callison Award, Audubon’s highest recognition for staff conservation achievement.

Chris graduated summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa from Birmingham-Southern College where he earned a B.A. in mathematics. He earned a M.Phil. in 20th-century English literature from the University of Oxford where he was a Rhodes Scholar. He served on the Advisory Board of the NC State University Natural Resources Leadership Institute and was a member of the Southern Appalachian Forest Coalition Steering Committee in Asheville.

A long-time North Carolina resident, Chris lives in Pittsboro with his wife, Kate. He will join the CTNC team on Monday, July 31.