Fellows Network




Virginia Farley

Conservation Study Institute, National Park Service (NPS), Director of Leadership Programs

Woodstock, Vermont

Virginia has worked in the conservation field for over 25 years. She served as a Regional Director for the Vermont Land Trust and currently serves as Director for Leadership Programs for the Conservation Study Institute. The Institute is a National Park Service resource center which creates opportunities for dialogue, inquiry, and lifelong learning to enhance the stewardship of parks, landscapes, and communities. Virginia heads the Superintendents’ Leadership Roundtable Program and provides technical assistance to NPS employees and partners in the areas of partnerships, community engagement, leadership development, and best practices in conservation.

Virginia is also an occasional consultant to non-profit conservation organizations. She conducts workshops, courses, and seminars on reflective conservation leadership, climate change, land conservation, and sense of place.

Being a Fellow has enabled Virginia to better understand change processes and how to be more deliberate and strategic in taking action toward change. For example, she has developed a theory of change for conservation action that integrates values articulation, visioning, inspiration, action, reflection, evaluation, and adaptation. She is applying this theory of change to help foster emotional intelligence in dealing with climate change. She also works 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 has utilized coaching skills developed as a Fellow in her leadership development work.

Virginia holds a BS in Natural Resource Conservation and an MA in Environmental Law and Policy.

Updated March 2009.