Meg Rutledge Named Next Executive Director - Columbia Land Trust
Dr. Megan Rutledge will begin her role in January 2023, bringing extensive conservation leadership experience and ecological expertise

The Columbia Land Trust Board of Directors is proud to announce that after an extensive search process, Dr. Megan Rutledge has been named Executive Director!

Columbia Land Trust conserves and cares for the vital lands, waters, and wildlife of the Columbia River region through sound science and strong relationships, and in Rutledge the hiring committee found a leader who combines the scientific expertise and strategic vision needed to continue the Land Trust’s tradition of conservation success.

With a doctorate in environmental management, Rutledge most recently served as the Director of Biodiversity Threats at the New Zealand Department of Conservation, where she led a large team and worked across complex, multi-use landscapes.

“I was instantly drawn to the inclusive ethos of the Columbia Land Trust,” she said. “I look forward to being a part of such a collaborative conservation community and leading the Land Trust’s ambitious Conservation Agenda.”

Rutledge’s family is based in the Pacific Northwest, and she is excited to return home. “It means a lot to be able to contribute to conservation in a region that has given me and my family so much,” she said. “While I have a lot to learn, I am excited and grateful for the opportunity.”

Her career highlights include:

  • Coordinating and securing resources for the first climate change adaptation plan for the New Zealand Department of Conservation
  • Establishing a national framework in New Zealand for managing the impacts of feral ungulates in protected areas, including a $30 million investment over 4 years to increase capability and capacity in the conservation sector
  • Leading the successful reintroduction of native parrots back into Abel Tasman National Park after more than 50 years of absence
  • International research to understand the impacts of protected areas on indigenous livelihoods and their access to endemic resources, including endangered species

“I am so pleased that Meg will be the next leader of Columbia Land Trust,” said Board President Wendy Gerlach. “She consistently impressed the search committee with her strong scientific background, nonprofit and conservation management experience, and passion for our mission. Her energy, directness, and warm personality make her a perfect fit for the next stage in the Land Trust’s history. We give thanks to Glenn for his decades of leadership and look forward to Meg joining us.”

Rutledge will officially begin her role at Columbia Land Trust on January 3, 2023. Glenn Lamb will continue to serve as Executive Director until that time.

Please join us in welcoming Meg Rutledge!