Featured experts
Ronda Lee Chapman
Equity director

As our equity director, Ronda Lee Chapman works to bring parks and nature to the places, people, and communities that can most benefit as a matter of health, equity, and justice. She has spent two decades leading efforts on climate resilience, water infrastructure and equity, renewable energy, and waste management for municipal, higher education, and nonprofit organizations. 
 
Prior to joining us, Ronda served as a senior associate for PolicyLink, where she was responsible for building out and integrating the organization’s national water equity and climate resilience portfolios in close concert with frontline organizers, community-based organizations, and conservation organizations. She also served as commissioner for the Commission on...

As our equity director, Ronda Lee Chapman works to bring parks and nature to the places, people, and communities that can most benefit as a matter of health, equity, and justice. She has spent two decades leading efforts on climate resilience, water infrastructure and equity, renewable energy, and waste management for municipal, higher education, and nonprofit organizations. 
 
Prior to joining us, Ronda served as a senior associate for PolicyLink, where she was responsible for building out and integrating the organization’s national water equity and climate resilience portfolios in close concert with frontline organizers, community-based organizations, and conservation organizations. She also served as commissioner for the Commission on Climate Change and Resilience for the District of Columbia and as the executive director for Groundwork DC. 
 
As a skilled facilitator, Ronda derives great joy convening leaders who are committed to the possibilities of equitable communities rooted in healing. An avid outdoor enthusiast, Ronda enjoys recreating outside whenever possible. 

Linda Hwang
Senior director, strategy & innovation

Linda is our director of strategy and innovation. She has been with us since 2016. She is responsible for developing long-term strategy and direction for the research and innovation team, providing high-level leadership, and anticipating, sensing, and monitoring trends in the broader parks, conservation, equity, and technology spaces. She works in partnership with our 25+ field offices, content experts, and policy and advocacy teams to develop growth initiatives that enable increased impact and leads the exploration and implementation of new parks and conservation data opportunities for the organization. She previously worked with all of TPL’s field offices to develop state-focused five-year strategic plans. Prior to this, Linda was a partner...

Linda is our director of strategy and innovation. She has been with us since 2016. She is responsible for developing long-term strategy and direction for the research and innovation team, providing high-level leadership, and anticipating, sensing, and monitoring trends in the broader parks, conservation, equity, and technology spaces. She works in partnership with our 25+ field offices, content experts, and policy and advocacy teams to develop growth initiatives that enable increased impact and leads the exploration and implementation of new parks and conservation data opportunities for the organization. She previously worked with all of TPL’s field offices to develop state-focused five-year strategic plans. Prior to this, Linda was a partner at a start-up that developed customized decision-support tools that quantify ecosystem services for clients such as The Nature Conservancy, The Dow Chemical Company, and Environmental Defense Fund. She was also at Business for Social Responsibility, where she built and led advisory services program offerings on corporate water strategy and ecosystem services strategies for Fortune 500 companies. Linda has a BA in Environmental Economics from the University of Michigan, an MPhil in Development Studies and Social Transformation from the University of Cape Town, and an MBA from the University of Michigan. 

Jocelyn Imani
PhD, Black history and culture director

Dr. Jocelyn Imani is a storyteller, educator, and community builder with over a decade of experience as a public historian; she joined us as national director of our Black History and Culture Initiative in 2022. In her work, she is focused on reimagining how Black history and culture sites are activated and aims to make shared spaces more relevant and accessible to all populations. Prior to joining TPL, Dr. Imani spent time as an interpretive ranger with the National Park Service, served as historian at Ulysses S. Grant National Historic Site, and worked in the Office of Curatorial Affairs at the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture. ...

Dr. Jocelyn Imani is a storyteller, educator, and community builder with over a decade of experience as a public historian; she joined us as national director of our Black History and Culture Initiative in 2022. In her work, she is focused on reimagining how Black history and culture sites are activated and aims to make shared spaces more relevant and accessible to all populations. Prior to joining TPL, Dr. Imani spent time as an interpretive ranger with the National Park Service, served as historian at Ulysses S. Grant National Historic Site, and worked in the Office of Curatorial Affairs at the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture. 

She has taught U.S. history at Fisk and Howard Universities, as well as Washington Adventist University, Coppin State University, and others. She is also particularly dedicated to the development of strong children, a passion reflected in her founding of the Big Brown Get Down, an annual community event that connects upwardly mobile professionals with middle and high school students from underserved communities. 

Dr. Imani holds a PhD in African diaspora and public history from Howard University and a BA in history from Fisk University. An avid fan of arts, music, and culture, Dr. Imani comes from a long line of musicians and sang before she spoke. A proud daughter of the South, she is a native of Nashville, Tennessee.

Sadiya Muqueeth
DrPH, MPH, Director of community health

As our director of community health, Sadiya Muqueeth advances the built environment and nature as underutilized tools for community health. She joined us in December 2019 from CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield, where she was an evaluation strategist in community affairs, advancing work in the company’s philanthropic portfolio around social determinants of health. As a former CDC Public Health Prevention Service Fellow, she worked on strengthening public health systems globally and on the relationship between urban design and health impacts domestically. She was then assigned to lead a task force on preventing substance exposed pregnancies at the Baltimore City Health Department. A returned Peace Corps volunteer from Paraguay, Sadiya earned her BA in Public Health...

As our director of community health, Sadiya Muqueeth advances the built environment and nature as underutilized tools for community health. She joined us in December 2019 from CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield, where she was an evaluation strategist in community affairs, advancing work in the company’s philanthropic portfolio around social determinants of health. As a former CDC Public Health Prevention Service Fellow, she worked on strengthening public health systems globally and on the relationship between urban design and health impacts domestically. She was then assigned to lead a task force on preventing substance exposed pregnancies at the Baltimore City Health Department. A returned Peace Corps volunteer from Paraguay, Sadiya earned her BA in Public Health Studies from Johns Hopkins University, her MPH in Health Behavior from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and her DrPH from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

Brendan Shane
Climate director

Brendan Shane is our climate director and leads efforts to leverage the power of parks and land protection to build more climate-resilient communities. Our climate program works nationwide with communities of all sizes, across a wide range of landscapes, to address the increasingly dangerous impacts of climate change through natural and nature-based practices. 

Brendan previously served as regional director for North America and Deadline 2020 program director for C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group, as chief of policy and sustainability for the District of Columbia Government, and environmental director for the Anacostia Waterfront Corporation. He is a watershed hydrologist and attorney, with a BA in government from Franklin & Marshall College, MS in...

Brendan Shane is our climate director and leads efforts to leverage the power of parks and land protection to build more climate-resilient communities. Our climate program works nationwide with communities of all sizes, across a wide range of landscapes, to address the increasingly dangerous impacts of climate change through natural and nature-based practices. 

Brendan previously served as regional director for North America and Deadline 2020 program director for C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group, as chief of policy and sustainability for the District of Columbia Government, and environmental director for the Anacostia Waterfront Corporation. He is a watershed hydrologist and attorney, with a BA in government from Franklin & Marshall College, MS in geology from the University of Maryland, and JD from the Georgetown University Law Center. 

Cary Simmons
Director of community strategies

Cary Simmons is our director of community strategies. He is our leading expert on innovative community engagement and partnership models that deliver powerful social outcomes, and his team leads our national partnerships and collaborations around creative placemaking, welcoming and belonging, and civic engagement.

Cary has worked at the organization for seven years, previously in a field leadership role in the Northwest, where he developed more than a dozen neighborhood parks and schoolyards across Washington, Montana, and Wyoming. Prior to joining us, Cary led several nationally significant memorial design and city park development projects at AECOM, based in Washington, DC. He has also worked previously at the Smithsonian Institution, the Intergovernmental Panel...

Cary Simmons is our director of community strategies. He is our leading expert on innovative community engagement and partnership models that deliver powerful social outcomes, and his team leads our national partnerships and collaborations around creative placemaking, welcoming and belonging, and civic engagement.

Cary has worked at the organization for seven years, previously in a field leadership role in the Northwest, where he developed more than a dozen neighborhood parks and schoolyards across Washington, Montana, and Wyoming. Prior to joining us, Cary led several nationally significant memorial design and city park development projects at AECOM, based in Washington, DC. He has also worked previously at the Smithsonian Institution, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, and the Urban Resources Initiative. He earned his Bachelor of Landscape Architecture from the Fay Jones School of Architecture at the University of Arkansas and his Master of Environmental Management from the School of Forestry & Environmental Studies at Yale University.