Leslie Harroun Is the New Executive Director of the Salazar Center at Colorado State University

Leslie Harroun, a philanthropic leader with more than three decades of domestic and international experience, is the new executive director of the Salazar Center for North American Conservation at Colorado State University. The mission of the CSU Salazar Center for North American Conservation is to accelerate the pace and scale of equitable, innovative, and durable solutions for nature and all people by connecting diverse leaders, communities, and resources across the North American continent.

“I’ve been working in environmental conservation for 30 years, and this position with the Salazar Center allows me to weave together my leadership and systems-thinking skills, my deep network, and my passion for the natural world to facilitate twenty-first-century solutions to our environmental challenges, which are deeply interconnected to so many others,” Harroun said. “The Salazar Center is still young, and it is poised for growth. I’m very excited about shaping the next chapter of the center’s story. I’m stepping into an organization with a well-established foundation: a talented and dedicated staff; an engaged and committed community of partners; and CSU’s enormous assets in terms of its human resources and nationally recognized reputation for sustainability. These are the building blocks that we are going to use to create real lasting impact.”

Harroun was most recently executive in residence and senior fellow for strategic initiatives at The Democracy Collaborative, where she partnered with academics, communities, and thought leaders to design and articulate a commonsense and coherent frame for a “next” economic system that is equitable, democratic, and regenerative. Previously, she was the founding director of Partners for a New Economy, an international donor collaborative working to transform the economic system so that it values ecological integrity and human wellbeing. From 1998-2015, Harroun worked at the OAK Foundation where she developed and managed its North American, European, and select global climate change portfolios, as well as its early marine conservation portfolio.

Harroun is a graduate of Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley, Massachusetts. She earned a juris doctorate at the Northeastern University School of Law in Boston.

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