“Each member of the staff and board contributed to the statement, leading to a unanimous endorsement and tremendous commitment to and ownership over its content. It also laid the groundwork for how the organization was changing its culture and approach,” Maud continued. “It was an aggressively clear statement about the intentional change we were seeking and an acknowledgment of the history of damage done through past work done by the environmental movement. I learned a lot doing this work, which helped inform my work in other arenas.” 

Maud previously served as president and CEO of the Seattle Chamber of Commerce before leading Career Connect Washington, a network of business, labor, education, and community leaders, creating work-based and academic programs for young people to explore, prepare, and launch into college and careers. She aims to jump on the existing opportunities to prepare young people for climate change careers. 

“TNC has been a big part of championing Washington’s transition to a clean energy future as quickly as possible,” she said. “To do so requires skills that not many people have today. Career Connect Washington partners with many applicants to create that new workforce of the future, exposing young people to jobs in every industry sector and getting them excited and plugged in during their elementary, middle school, and high school years.” 

Maud credits her parents for inspiring her to use her voice to make an impact because of their involvement in organizations like United Way of Chicago and Planned Parenthood. Her mother, who was on the board of Planned Parenthood and very active for years, was instrumental in supporting abortion as a choice for women during early debates on this issue In Chicago.  

“She stood up and got involved with people in the community and her fellow board members,” Maud explains. “She twisted many arms to get them to take a strong stand. The outcome meant that women did secure that choice, something that might not have happened otherwise.” 

Maud was particularly impressed by her parents’ example because they used their voices to make a difference even when their positions were not necessarily consistent with those of their friends or work colleagues. To Maud, her parents’ areas of activism showed her how important it is to be your own person. “They stood out from their peers,” Maud said. “They were relentless and courageous. The combination of that kind of leadership, effect, and impact was powerful.” 

She also admires and has learned from TNC’s staff and board. 

“The approach we have taken as a board is to be humble and listen,” she said. “We have heard so many ways of expressing a passion for the land and this place. The reach of different demographics and types of people across the state helps us from the standpoint of access to elected leadership and getting things done.” 

Maud looks forward to seeing the next generation unifying to help the planet, and she sees TNC in Washington and Career Connect aligning on this work. “Young people I interact with through my work with TNC and with Career Connect are incredibly bright, mission-focused, and technologically savvy,” Maud said. “They’re so well equipped to tackle whatever challenge they pursue. Part of the joy of Career Connect has been unleashing that opportunity for every young person with a special effort to include kids who have traditionally not had access—giving opportunity to every single young person who wants to do something for themselves, their family, and their community.” 

With a distinguished professional career and a deep commitment to the causes she holds dear, Maud is an inspiring force for change. Through her belief in the potential for a better Washington and a better world, Maud’s efforts will help TNC in Washington create a lasting impact for generations to come. 

By Anya Blaney, Partner, Blaney Consulting 

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