EnvironmentNewsPublic lands

Kelly Nordini to be named boss of Conservation Colorado

Author: Joey Bunch - August 28, 2018 - Updated: September 13, 2018

Kelly Nordini
Kelly Nordini (Photo courtesy of Conservation Colroado)

Kelly Nordini will be the new executive director of Conservation Colorado, Colorado Politics has learned.

The state’s largest environmental advocacy organization is expected to make the announcement Tuesday afternoon.

Nordini replaces Pete Maysmith, who left last year. In the interim, the post was held by Maria Handley, who did not seek the permanent job.

RELATED: Pete Maysmith moves on from Conservation Colorado to head up national elections effort

“I am so excited to join the exceptional team at Conservation Colorado, and I can’t wait to get started,” Nordini said in a statement. “We have so much to do in the next three months to ensure a pro-conservation governor and state legislature. The organization is growing and in an incredibly strong position to advocate for bold policies that ensure we protect the Colorado we all love. I’m thrilled to be able to take on these challenges with such smart, thoughtful colleagues.”

The past five years, Nordini has been a partner at Hilltop Public Solutions, where she was campaign chair for Democrat Cary Kennedy run for governor this year. She was the deputy chief of staff for Gov. Bill Ritter, as well as serving as chief of staff for the Colorado House.

She was worked to advance clean energy policies and is described as “an experienced conservationist, political strategist and policy expert” by Conservation Colorado. Nordini is the former chief operating officer of Project New America and chief program officer for the Western Conservation Foundation.

“Kelly is the leader we need to build on our legacy of advocacy and help mobilize the growing population of conservation-minded Coloradans to achieve even greater public policy success across the state,” Conservation Colorado board chair Diane Carman stated. “The fast-moving political environment demands that we are continuously adapting to meet our goals — from protecting public lands to conserving water and ensuring a healthy future for all Coloradans. Kelly will bring political savvy, strong relationships and a deep commitment to organizing to lead Conservation Colorado into this new chapter.”

Conservation Colorado provided a statement from House Speaker Crisanta Duran, D-Denver, as well as Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper.

“Protecting our air, land and water is critical to our state’s future, especially to the diverse communities that call Colorado home,” she said. “I know Kelly will continue the transformational work of Conservation Colorado to ensure that it remains a model for conservation efforts across the country.”

“This is a great move for Conservation Colorado,” Hickenlooper added. “Kelly has a successful record of bringing people together to find creative solutions. With her at the helm, I have no doubt they will continue fighting to ensure Colorado has the cleanest air and water possible.”

Joey Bunch

Joey Bunch

Joey Bunch is the senior political correspondent for Colorado Politics. He has a 31-year career in journalism, including the last 15 in Colorado. He was part of the Denver Post team that won the Pulitzer Prize in 2013 and is a two-time Pulitzer finalist. His resume includes covering high school sports, the environment, the casino industry and civil rights in the South, as well as a short stint at CNN.