Virginia Farley

Virginia had an illustrious career in the conservation field. After serving on various planning commissions around New England and as a policy analyst, writer and editor for the VT Agency of Natural Resources, Virginia began her 20-year career with the Vermont Land Trust as the Regional Director. Through passion, determination, and innovation, she helped conserve a vast amount of Vermont lands, rivers, and streams still protected to this day. In the early 2000s, Virginia took her conservation influence one step farther by embarking on a career with the National Park Service Conservation Study Institute as their Leadership Program Director, a position she held for nearly 20 years.

Additionally, she taught courses at the University of Vermont and Vermont Law School as an adjunct faculty member and consulted with non-profit conservation organizations in her free time. She conducted workshops, courses, and seminars on reflective conservation leadership, climate change, land conservation, and sense of place. She also served as a board member on the Vermont Natural Resources Council for several years and completed the Donella Meadows Leadership Fellows Program. Being a Donella Meadows Fellow enabled Virginia to better understand change processes and how to be more deliberate and strategic in taking action toward change. For example, she developed a theory of change for conservation action that integrated values articulation, visioning, inspiration, action, reflection, evaluation, and adaptation. She applyied this theory of change to help foster emotional intelligence in dealing with climate change.

Virginia also worked to develop strategies to ensure that the National Park Service is able to adapt to changing demographics, attract diverse populations, and articulate and interpret stories reflective of diverse cultures. In addition, she utilized coaching skills developed as a Fellow in her leadership development work.

Virginia received a B.S. in Natural Resource Conservation from the University of Rhode Island and a Master of Studies in Environmental Law and Policy from Vermont Law School.