Leadership Team
Diane Regas
President and Chief Executive Officer

An internationally recognized conservation leader, Diane Regas joined The Trust for Public Land in the spring of 2018 as president and CEO. Prior to The Trust for Public Land, Diane worked for more than a decade at Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), most recently as executive director, where she helped EDF advance solutions that promote prosperity for all people and for the planet. She guided work to improve ocean health, stabilize the climate, reduce toxins in everyday products, and promote collaboration and partnerships. Prior to EDF, Diane served at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, working under both Democratic and Republican administrations as the top civil servant protecting our nation’s rivers, lakes, and bays.

Diane earned her A.B., M.S. in energy and resources, and J.D. at the University of California, Berkeley, and resides in Berkeley, CA. An avid outdoor explorer, Diane enjoys hiking, cycling, diving, camping, and spending time in nature with her husband, children, and granddaughter.

"National change starts in our communities,” said Lisa Jackson, administrator of the EPA under President Obama. “Diane’s proven track record and inclusive vision will help communities...

An internationally recognized conservation leader, Diane Regas joined The Trust for Public Land in the spring of 2018 as president and CEO. Prior to The Trust for Public Land, Diane worked for more than a decade at Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), most recently as executive director, where she helped EDF advance solutions that promote prosperity for all people and for the planet. She guided work to improve ocean health, stabilize the climate, reduce toxins in everyday products, and promote collaboration and partnerships. Prior to EDF, Diane served at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, working under both Democratic and Republican administrations as the top civil servant protecting our nation’s rivers, lakes, and bays.

Diane earned her A.B., M.S. in energy and resources, and J.D. at the University of California, Berkeley, and resides in Berkeley, CA. An avid outdoor explorer, Diane enjoys hiking, cycling, diving, camping, and spending time in nature with her husband, children, and granddaughter.

"National change starts in our communities,” said Lisa Jackson, administrator of the EPA under President Obama. “Diane’s proven track record and inclusive vision will help communities create vibrant outdoor experiences for millions of people."

Adrian Benepe
Senior Vice President and Director of National Programs

As senior vice president and director of national programs for The Trust for Public Land, Adrian Benepe is one of the nation's experts on the nexus of the public, private, and nonprofit sectors in public-space development and management. Born and raised in New York, Adrian served as New York City Parks commissioner for 11 years under Mayor Michael Bloomberg prior to joining The Trust for Public Land. During that time he oversaw a major expansion of the city's park system, including restoring historic parks such as Central Park and Battery Park, adding 730 acres of new parkland including Hudson River Park, Brooklyn Bridge Park, and the High Line, and laying the groundwork for an additional 2,000 acres of parkland within the city.

In his career, Benepe has worked in leadership roles on park and public space conservation, design, construction, and operation, and in the areas of city planning, arts and culture, historic preservation, and landscape and urban design. He also helped to create or empower several New York business-related organizations, from business improvement districts to park conservancies, including the Madison...

As senior vice president and director of national programs for The Trust for Public Land, Adrian Benepe is one of the nation's experts on the nexus of the public, private, and nonprofit sectors in public-space development and management. Born and raised in New York, Adrian served as New York City Parks commissioner for 11 years under Mayor Michael Bloomberg prior to joining The Trust for Public Land. During that time he oversaw a major expansion of the city's park system, including restoring historic parks such as Central Park and Battery Park, adding 730 acres of new parkland including Hudson River Park, Brooklyn Bridge Park, and the High Line, and laying the groundwork for an additional 2,000 acres of parkland within the city.

In his career, Benepe has worked in leadership roles on park and public space conservation, design, construction, and operation, and in the areas of city planning, arts and culture, historic preservation, and landscape and urban design. He also helped to create or empower several New York business-related organizations, from business improvement districts to park conservancies, including the Madison Square Conservancy, Jamaica Bay Conservancy, Historic House Trust of NYC, and Fort Tryon Park Trust.

Previously, Benepe also held the positions of New York City director of art and antiquities, director of natural resources and horticulture, operations coordinator, and director of public information. Benepe is also the former vice president for issues and public affairs at the Municipal Art Society and the director of the annual fund and major gifts for the New York Botanical Garden.

In addition to a bachelor's degree in English literature from Middlebury College, Benepe holds a master's degree in journalism from Columbia University, where he was awarded a Pulitzer Fellowship. In 1987, he participated in the mayor's Top 40 program, and in 1992, he was selected to participate in Leadership New York, a program of the Coro Foundation.

D. Malcolm Carson
Senior Vice President and General Counsel

Malcolm Carson started as senior vice president and general counsel designate in November 2015. Formerly, Malcolm served as general counsel and policy director for environmental health at Community Health Councils, a health policy-focused nonprofit based in Los Angeles. In addition to the general counsel role, Malcolm led a program centered around environmental and land-use planning with a key focus on the link between access to parks and open space and health.

Prior to this he was managing attorney at the Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles, supervising the legal teams for employment and community economic development. In this role he developed expertise in lobbying, employment law, environmental review, land use, real estate, federal tax exemption, and corporate governance, among others, and led initiatives to leverage land use, transportation, and environmental planning processes for the benefit of low-income communities and to improve client services by better integrating digital communication technology into their collaborative working processes. Additionally, Malcolm taught law and public policy at the University of Southern California, served on the California State Building Standards Commission, and was previously a deputy...

Malcolm Carson started as senior vice president and general counsel designate in November 2015. Formerly, Malcolm served as general counsel and policy director for environmental health at Community Health Councils, a health policy-focused nonprofit based in Los Angeles. In addition to the general counsel role, Malcolm led a program centered around environmental and land-use planning with a key focus on the link between access to parks and open space and health.

Prior to this he was managing attorney at the Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles, supervising the legal teams for employment and community economic development. In this role he developed expertise in lobbying, employment law, environmental review, land use, real estate, federal tax exemption, and corporate governance, among others, and led initiatives to leverage land use, transportation, and environmental planning processes for the benefit of low-income communities and to improve client services by better integrating digital communication technology into their collaborative working processes. Additionally, Malcolm taught law and public policy at the University of Southern California, served on the California State Building Standards Commission, and was previously a deputy city attorney for the City and County of San Francisco and an associate at Orrick.

While Malcolm's work over the last twenty years has focused on improving the quality of life in underserved communities, he is passionate about the full range of our work and is an avid surfer, hiker, and bicyclist.

Jeff Danter
Senior Vice President of Field Programs

As the Senior Vice President of Field Programs, Jeff is responsible for overseeing all state and area programs including land protection, urban parks development, and community-based conservation. Jeff joined The Trust for Public Land in 2011 and has worked in conservation since 1994. Prior to that he worked for an international electrical engineering company. Jeff received his BS in Chemical Engineering, MBA, and PhD in Ecological Management Communications from The Ohio State University.

As the Senior Vice President of Field Programs, Jeff is responsible for overseeing all state and area programs including land protection, urban parks development, and community-based conservation. Jeff joined The Trust for Public Land in 2011 and has worked in conservation since 1994. Prior to that he worked for an international electrical engineering company. Jeff received his BS in Chemical Engineering, MBA, and PhD in Ecological Management Communications from The Ohio State University.

Bill Lee
President of The Trust for Public Land Action Fund, and Senior Vice President of Policy, Advocacy and Government Relations for The Trust for Public Land

Bill Lee is president of The Trust for Public Land Action Fund, and Senior Vice President of Policy, Advocacy and Government Relations for The Trust for Public Land. Bill leads The Trust for Public Land’s strategic direction and implementation for public policy, government relations, and advocacy at the federal, state, and local levels. From 2001-2008, Bill served as Legal Counsel for the Conservation Finance team at The Trust for Public Land and, since then, he’s led policy and government relations teams at American Rivers and, most recently, the Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids.

Bill Lee is president of The Trust for Public Land Action Fund, and Senior Vice President of Policy, Advocacy and Government Relations for The Trust for Public Land. Bill leads The Trust for Public Land’s strategic direction and implementation for public policy, government relations, and advocacy at the federal, state, and local levels. From 2001-2008, Bill served as Legal Counsel for the Conservation Finance team at The Trust for Public Land and, since then, he’s led policy and government relations teams at American Rivers and, most recently, the Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids.

Jim Obendorf
Senior Vice President and Chief Financial / Administrative Officer

Jim joined The Trust for Public Land in 2019 having most recently served as the Chief Operating & Chief Financial Officer at Habitat for Humanity’s largest California affiliate.   Prior to his non-profit stint, Jim held executive level finance and operational leadership roles in both large and small, for-profit organizations including IBM, American President Companies and Southern Pacific. Jim brings extensive experience in the areas of P&L / general management, operations, strategic planning, business development, process reengineering, and systems implementations across diverse industries. In addition, Jim brings specialized experience in public offerings, strategic partnerships, structured debt financing, private equity placements, corporate development, business analysis mergers and acquisitions, project management, and financial and budget controls.

Jim’s educational/professional activities: Named 2015 San Francisco Bay Area Nonprofit CFO of the Year; Lecturer in Entrepreneurial Studies, INSEAD International MBA Program, Singapore; Co-Lecturer, Corporate Finance, San Jose State University; MBA Finance, San Jose State University; BA Economics, San Jose State University; Certified Management Accountant (CMA).

Jim resides with his family in Piedmont California.   Jim’s outdoor passions include cycling, hiking, cross-country skiing and fly fishing....

Jim joined The Trust for Public Land in 2019 having most recently served as the Chief Operating & Chief Financial Officer at Habitat for Humanity’s largest California affiliate.   Prior to his non-profit stint, Jim held executive level finance and operational leadership roles in both large and small, for-profit organizations including IBM, American President Companies and Southern Pacific. Jim brings extensive experience in the areas of P&L / general management, operations, strategic planning, business development, process reengineering, and systems implementations across diverse industries. In addition, Jim brings specialized experience in public offerings, strategic partnerships, structured debt financing, private equity placements, corporate development, business analysis mergers and acquisitions, project management, and financial and budget controls.

Jim’s educational/professional activities: Named 2015 San Francisco Bay Area Nonprofit CFO of the Year; Lecturer in Entrepreneurial Studies, INSEAD International MBA Program, Singapore; Co-Lecturer, Corporate Finance, San Jose State University; MBA Finance, San Jose State University; BA Economics, San Jose State University; Certified Management Accountant (CMA).

Jim resides with his family in Piedmont California.   Jim’s outdoor passions include cycling, hiking, cross-country skiing and fly fishing.

I Ling Thompson
Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing and Communications Officer

I Ling Thompson is the Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing and Communications Officer of The Trust for Public Land. She leads all aspects of marketing and communications to drive the organization’s mission forward. I Ling has dedicated her career to land conservation and fostering people’s love and stewardship of the outdoors. Before joining The Trust for Public Land in August 2019, I Ling spent 14 years with The Nature Conservancy in a number of roles, including Managing Director of Global Communications, Women in Nature (WIN) co-sponsor, and Deputy to the Chief Conservation Officer. She also lead Member Marketing and Communications for the Outdoor Industry Association, where she authored the Outdoor Recreation Economy report and designed a “big tent” communications campaign to elevate the economic importance of outdoor recreation.

As a member of the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership Board of Directors, she helps guide that organization’s work to guarantee all Americans quality places to hunt and fish. I Ling knows from experience that a powerful message can make transformational change. In her early career, she shaped major campaigns for international...

I Ling Thompson is the Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing and Communications Officer of The Trust for Public Land. She leads all aspects of marketing and communications to drive the organization’s mission forward. I Ling has dedicated her career to land conservation and fostering people’s love and stewardship of the outdoors. Before joining The Trust for Public Land in August 2019, I Ling spent 14 years with The Nature Conservancy in a number of roles, including Managing Director of Global Communications, Women in Nature (WIN) co-sponsor, and Deputy to the Chief Conservation Officer. She also lead Member Marketing and Communications for the Outdoor Industry Association, where she authored the Outdoor Recreation Economy report and designed a “big tent” communications campaign to elevate the economic importance of outdoor recreation.

As a member of the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership Board of Directors, she helps guide that organization’s work to guarantee all Americans quality places to hunt and fish. I Ling knows from experience that a powerful message can make transformational change. In her early career, she shaped major campaigns for international public relations agencies on public health issues like diabetes prevention and the anti-tobacco movement. She lives in Denver with her husband and their dog Blink.