News Release – 10.9.2013


“Wendi is the perfect fit for our organization’s ascending trajectory,” says Sonoran Institute Executive Director Maria Baier. “She comes to the Institute with a wealth of relevant experience and a true passion for the work we do across the West. Best of all, she is an adventurer who is not only comfortable in the natural world, but would forsake all else to get there.”

Lucas’s dynamic career has bridged conservation, law, public health, housing, and higher education. Prior to joining the Sonoran Institute, she was an organizational development consultant and the executive director of the Virginia Conflict Resolution Center.

In her position at the Sonoran Institute, Lucas is able to merge her personal passions and professional practices into one. “My belief in multi-focused, realistic approaches to solution development is mirrored in the Sonoran Institute’s collaborative, holistic approach to shaping the future of the West,” she says. “I am so fortunate to be able to work alongside people—both employees and supporters of the Institute—whose experience, vision, and passion for the West are truly unmatched.” 

Lucas earned her J.D. from the University of North Carolina School of Law, an M.A. in Journalism from Marshall University, and a B.A. in Communications from Marietta College. In addition, she holds certificates in both Fundraising and Nonprofit Management and is a graduate of Leadership Craven. Lucas is a member of Rotary International, the Association of Fundraising Professionals, and the Planned Giving Roundtable of Southern Arizona.

The Sonoran Institute inspires and enables community decisions and public policies that respect the land and people of western North America. The Institute is a nonprofit organization that is working to shape the future of the West. For more information, visit