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Mass Audubon names new president

Posted by Laura Franzini  October 15, 2012 10:50 AM

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Mass Audubon's Board of Directors voted unanimously last week to elect Henry George Tepper as the organization's next president.

Tepper is an internationally recognized conservationist with significant experience in land protection and advocacy, the Lincoln-based organization said in a press release.

"Henry's lifetime experience of conservation and environmental advocacy in the Northeast, across the country, and internationally provides Mass Audubon with the vision and direction necessary to lead the conservation community confidently into the coming decades," said Board Chair Jonathan Panek.

Tepper will take over the organization's leadership from Laura Johnson, who will be stepping down after 14 years as president. Tepper will start in January.

Tepper is currently the Chief Conservation Officer and a partner at Patagonia Sur, LLC, a company that invests in, protects, and enhances ecologically significant properties in Chilean Patagonia.

At Patagonia Sur, Tepper has led a team that created a practical template for a conservation easement in Chilean law, and has established on of Chile's first independent land trusts, the Tierra Austral Land Trust.

He also launched and continues to serve as the senior U.S. advisor to the Chilean Private Lands Conservation Initiative, which has introduced breakthrough conservation easement enabling legislation in the Chilean Congress, according to Mass Audubon.

Prior to working at Patagonia Sur, Tepper served for two-and-a-half years as vice president of state programs for the National Audubon Society, where he oversaw nine state programs in the eastern United States, as well as the organization's Atlantic Flyway Conservation Initiative.

Tepper also spent 13 years at The Nature Conservatory (TNC), serving for one year as director of international programs, eastern U.S. region; eight years as state director for New York; and four years as state director for New Hampshire. During his time at TNC, Tepper launched and successfully led numerous multi-million dollar campaigns to protect habitats. He also initiated a series of landscape-scale forest conservation projects that protected more than 350,000 acres in both states.

Tepper's career also includes serving as deputy commissioner for natural resources for the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation, and as executive director of Columbia Land Conservancy in the Hudson River Valley, where he is currently a member of the Board of Directors.

Throughout his career, Tepper has worked to advance the professional capacities of land trust organizations, and most recently served for four years as a member of the Land Trust Accreditation Commission, an independent program of the Land Trust Alliance, according to Mass Audubon.

Tepper holds a B.A. from the University of Michigan and an M.A. and Admission to Doctoral Candidacy in the History of Art from Cornell University. He and his wife, Jane Henoch, a nurse practitioner, have two teenage children. Tepper comes from a family of birders and in part credits his lifelong commitment to conservation to his childhood visits to Mass Audubon sanctuaries and excursions on Monomoy and South Beach in Chatham with Mass Audubon staff.

"I am honored and humbled to be selected to have the opportunity to lead Mass Audubon," Tepper said in the press release. "This is an extraordinary organization with an outstanding record of accomplishments in protecting the nature of the Commonwealth for its residents and visitors. I am so excited about joining Mass Audubon's incredible board, staff, volunteers, and supporters in these efforts."

Laura E. Franzini can be reached at laura.franzini@globe.com.

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