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Catherine Rawson

Executive Director

Catherine Rawson is the executive director of Northwest Connecticut Land Conservancy, board member of the Connecticut Land Conservation Council, commissioner of the Land Trust Accreditation Commission, and a steering committee member for the Working Lands Alliance. A graduate of Bates College and Vermont Law School, where she studied environmental law, Catherine also has a master’s degree in environmental management from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. Prior to joining Northwest Connecticut Land Conservancy, she served as an assistant attorney general for the State of Connecticut. She is also a former member of the Land Trust Alliance Conservation Defense Advisory Council and Housatonic Valley Association Litchfield Hills Greenprint Collaborative Steering Committee.

Under Catherine’s direction since 2011, Northwest Connecticut Land Conservancy has achieved significant growth in its regional impact and capacity for long-term, sustainable conservation. Recognized today as a conservation leader in Connecticut and beyond, NCLC was awarded an EPA Environmental Merit Award in 2013 and accreditation from the Land Trust Accreditation Commission in 2015. Through Catherine’s leadership NCLC initiated a partnership program, now offering an array of services to land trusts throughout Litchfield and northern Fairfield Counties, while also tripling its staff size and by growing tenfold the reserve financial assets available to support its conservation work to $6.9 million. In 2021, the organization celebrated the protection of its 13,000th acre of land. In 2019 and 2020 respectively, NCLC merged with Brookfield Open Space Legacy and Naromi Land Trust. The latter merger resulted in a renaming of the organization from Weantinoge Heritage Land Trust to NCLC.

Catherine’s professional experience in the environmental field spans more than 20 years and includes serving as a law clerk for the Environment Division of the California Department of Justice and for General Electric’s Corporate Environmental Programs as well as work for three nonprofit organizations in environmental program management and education. Catherine was recognized for academic achievement at the Vermont Law School with American Jurisprudence Awards in Torts and Legal Writing. She also served on the Vermont Law Review and the Journal of National Security Law. In 2017, Catherine was named one of Connecticut Magazine’s 40 Under 40.

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