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 City Park Development

A senior vice president and director of city park development 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...

A senior vice president and director of city park development 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.

Margie Kim
Senior Vice President and Chief Philanthropy Officer

Margie Kim joined The Trust for Public Land in 2010 as its chief philanthropy officer, building upon a 28-year, successful record in human services, higher education, and conservation. She is responsible for planning and leading the organization's first national campaign, The Power of Place, a $450+ million effort that completed in 2016.

Prior to joining The Trust for Public Land, Margie was the director of philanthropy for the Asia-Pacific Region of The Nature Conservancy (TNC). Based in Hong Kong, she worked with TNC programs in China, Mongolia, Australia, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Micronesia, and Palau. Margie was involved in planning the Conservancy's successful $1 billion Campaign for a Sustainable Planet and raised private funds to support conservation work in the Asia-Pacific region. During her six years at The Nature Conservancy, she also served as the deputy director of development for TNC California.

Previously, Margie served as vice president for the West Region of the National Audubon Society and director of development for Audubon California for four years. While at Audubon, she did volunteer work with the Alaska Department...

Margie Kim joined The Trust for Public Land in 2010 as its chief philanthropy officer, building upon a 28-year, successful record in human services, higher education, and conservation. She is responsible for planning and leading the organization's first national campaign, The Power of Place, a $450+ million effort that completed in 2016.

Prior to joining The Trust for Public Land, Margie was the director of philanthropy for the Asia-Pacific Region of The Nature Conservancy (TNC). Based in Hong Kong, she worked with TNC programs in China, Mongolia, Australia, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Micronesia, and Palau. Margie was involved in planning the Conservancy's successful $1 billion Campaign for a Sustainable Planet and raised private funds to support conservation work in the Asia-Pacific region. During her six years at The Nature Conservancy, she also served as the deputy director of development for TNC California.

Previously, Margie served as vice president for the West Region of the National Audubon Society and director of development for Audubon California for four years. While at Audubon, she did volunteer work with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game's population monitoring study of marbled murrelets in the Tongass National Forest.

Before entering the field of conservation, Margie was at the University of California, Los Angeles, for ten years, serving as the director of development for the humanities, raising private funds for endowed chairs, graduate fellowships, and faculty research projects. During this time, she was also the director of the Letters and Science Fund, which included responsibility for the annual College of Letters and Science Awards Gala.

Prior to her fundraising career, she was a planner at the United Way of Greater Los Angeles where she worked with youth and family agencies in East Los Angeles, Watts and Compton. She also conducted an Asian/Pacific Islander health and human service needs assessment on ten different ethnic communities (Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Cambodian, Laos, Vietnamese, Thai, Pilipino, Samoan, Tongan).

A native Californian, Margie received both her BA in linguistics/psychology and MSW with a concentration in community planning from UCLA.

Shannon Morgan Stearns
Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer

Shannon Morgan Stearns joined The Trust for Public Land as senior vice president and chief marketing officer in January 2017.

Prior to that she was vice president of marketing at CamelBak, creating unique “Got Your Bak” consumer experiences that demonstrated the brand's hydration expertise. In addition to brand marketing, Shannon led the company's efforts in cause marketing and nonprofit collaboration.

Before CamelBak, Shannon led the marketing department for specialty retailer Illuminations, purveyor of high-end candles and home décor accessories. She created in-store, catalog, and online marketing campaigns including a highly successful customer loyalty program. Prior to Illuminations, Shannon was director of marketing at Smith & Hawken, a premium garden and home décor retailer. There, she developed omnichannel brand and marketing campaigns, including the launch of email marketing, promotional programs, and customer loyalty rewards.

Shannon has worked with a myriad of global brands, steering advertising campaigns for various Clorox brands such as Formula 409, Tilex, Soft Scrub, and Armor All, as well as national consumer research for Disney, Levi's, and Amazon.

Shannon Morgan Stearns joined The Trust for Public Land as senior vice president and chief marketing officer in January 2017.

Prior to that she was vice president of marketing at CamelBak, creating unique “Got Your Bak” consumer experiences that demonstrated the brand's hydration expertise. In addition to brand marketing, Shannon led the company's efforts in cause marketing and nonprofit collaboration.

Before CamelBak, Shannon led the marketing department for specialty retailer Illuminations, purveyor of high-end candles and home décor accessories. She created in-store, catalog, and online marketing campaigns including a highly successful customer loyalty program. Prior to Illuminations, Shannon was director of marketing at Smith & Hawken, a premium garden and home décor retailer. There, she developed omnichannel brand and marketing campaigns, including the launch of email marketing, promotional programs, and customer loyalty rewards.

Shannon has worked with a myriad of global brands, steering advertising campaigns for various Clorox brands such as Formula 409, Tilex, Soft Scrub, and Armor All, as well as national consumer research for Disney, Levi's, and Amazon.

Carrie Speckart
Vice President of Human Resources

As Vice President of Human Resources, Carrie Speckart guides the strategic development and management of the organization’s HR function, including staff recruitment and retention, internal communications, and organizational culture. Carrie joined The Trust for Public Land in 2005 and spent the last 7 years as Associate Director of Human Resources before being promoted to lead the department in 2018. Prior to The Trust for Public Land, Carrie worked at Kaiser Permanente where she used social science research to improve operations and member satisfaction and helped to drive recruitment and diversity initiatives.

A native Californian, Carrie grew up in San Diego and graduated UC Davis with a B.S. in Psychology and a minor in English. She then received a Master’s Degree in Industrial Organizational Psychology from the University of North Carolina, Charlotte. Her master’s thesis focused on team dynamics and conflict. She holds a Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) certification designation and brings expertise in recruitment, organizational and professional development, diversity & inclusion, HR database management, and employee relations.

As Vice President of Human Resources, Carrie Speckart guides the strategic development and management of the organization’s HR function, including staff recruitment and retention, internal communications, and organizational culture. Carrie joined The Trust for Public Land in 2005 and spent the last 7 years as Associate Director of Human Resources before being promoted to lead the department in 2018. Prior to The Trust for Public Land, Carrie worked at Kaiser Permanente where she used social science research to improve operations and member satisfaction and helped to drive recruitment and diversity initiatives.

A native Californian, Carrie grew up in San Diego and graduated UC Davis with a B.S. in Psychology and a minor in English. She then received a Master’s Degree in Industrial Organizational Psychology from the University of North Carolina, Charlotte. Her master’s thesis focused on team dynamics and conflict. She holds a Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) certification designation and brings expertise in recruitment, organizational and professional development, diversity & inclusion, HR database management, and employee relations.

Breece Robertson
Vice President and Director of Planning and GIS

Breece Robertson is Vice President and Director of Planning and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) for The Trust for Public Land. Robertson joined The Trust for Public land in 2001 to create a comprehensive, coordinated planning and GIS program for the national land conservation organization. Today she provides leadership for the trust's Enterprise GIS program that is the leading provider of "Land for People" science in the country.

The Planning and GIS programs work on projects ranging from city and county open space plans to multi-jurisdictional modeling efforts that cover a wide range of "Land for People" issues like park and recreation access, health disparities, making cities "climate-smart", protecting clean drinking water and connecting communities.

Esri, the world's leader in developing geographic information system (GIS) technology, has honored Robertson's GIS program for innovation in helping communities meet park and conservation goals multiple times. In 2006, The Trust for Public Land was awarded the Esri Special Achievement in GIS award and in 2012, the "Making a Difference" award – a prestigious presidential award. In both 2016 and 2017 Esri recognized story maps...

Breece Robertson is Vice President and Director of Planning and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) for The Trust for Public Land. Robertson joined The Trust for Public land in 2001 to create a comprehensive, coordinated planning and GIS program for the national land conservation organization. Today she provides leadership for the trust's Enterprise GIS program that is the leading provider of "Land for People" science in the country.

The Planning and GIS programs work on projects ranging from city and county open space plans to multi-jurisdictional modeling efforts that cover a wide range of "Land for People" issues like park and recreation access, health disparities, making cities "climate-smart", protecting clean drinking water and connecting communities.

Esri, the world's leader in developing geographic information system (GIS) technology, has honored Robertson's GIS program for innovation in helping communities meet park and conservation goals multiple times. In 2006, The Trust for Public Land was awarded the Esri Special Achievement in GIS award and in 2012, the "Making a Difference" award – a prestigious presidential award. In both 2016 and 2017 Esri recognized story maps from the GIS team in the Conservation, Environment, and Sustainability Story map category.

Robertson regularly presents at conferences around the country and is featured in and has authored many publications. She was the Keynote speaker at the GeoDesign Summit (2018) and has been a Conservation Strategies course speaker at the Yale School of Forestry since 2013 among many others. In 2011, she received a Planning and Urban Form Research Fellowship from the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy.

Prior to working at The Trust for Public Land Robertson was an Instructor and Course Developer for AllpointsGIS, Inc. where she developed and taught GIS software classes for local and federal government employees. She also worked to develop and implement projects focusing on sustainable rural economic development through the natural resource base as a Project Manager at Yadkin Pee-Dee Lakes Project.

Robertson continues to dedicate herself to the creation of healthy human and natural communities through conservation planning, Geographic Information Systems, education and collaborative partnerships.

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Authored articles

Interviews/New articles

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Presentations and Speaking Engagements

Simone N. McGurl
Chief of Staff

Simone N. McGurl joined The Trust for Public Land as Chief of Staff in September 2018. She comes to the organization with a deep commitment to equity and an expertise in organizational design and management strategies, with a focus on social enterprises working to improve quality-of-life outcomes for traditionally underserved communities.

Prior to joining The Trust for Public Land, Simone was the Director of Board Relations at the Environmental Defense Fund where she led the development of their global governance framework and board operations infrastructure, enabling more effective governance and cross-organizational collaboration. She was also responsible for the revitalization of the Board of EDF Action.

Before the Environmental Defense Fund, Simone was a founding employee of Van Jones’ non-profit accelerator, Dream Corps where she was charged with operationalizing the vision. From establishing the resource development function to launching national communication partnerships, her work at Dream Corps was informed by ten years of experience in relationship management and fundraising. As a design-informed strategist, she thrives on partnering with innovative leaders dedicated to creating a more equitable and sustainable world....

Simone N. McGurl joined The Trust for Public Land as Chief of Staff in September 2018. She comes to the organization with a deep commitment to equity and an expertise in organizational design and management strategies, with a focus on social enterprises working to improve quality-of-life outcomes for traditionally underserved communities.

Prior to joining The Trust for Public Land, Simone was the Director of Board Relations at the Environmental Defense Fund where she led the development of their global governance framework and board operations infrastructure, enabling more effective governance and cross-organizational collaboration. She was also responsible for the revitalization of the Board of EDF Action.

Before the Environmental Defense Fund, Simone was a founding employee of Van Jones’ non-profit accelerator, Dream Corps where she was charged with operationalizing the vision. From establishing the resource development function to launching national communication partnerships, her work at Dream Corps was informed by ten years of experience in relationship management and fundraising. As a design-informed strategist, she thrives on partnering with innovative leaders dedicated to creating a more equitable and sustainable world.