An Update from our CEO

Sustaining the Legacy of Conservation

Nearly 6 years ago, I had the extraordinary opportunity to accept the position of CEO of the Sonoran Institute. I had been very familiar with the Sonoran Institute when I was Executive Director of the Arizona League of Conservation Voters and had the opportunity to work with Sonoran Institute’s Founding Executive Director Luther Propst and SI’s talented staff on several important initiatives including State Trust Land Reform and the Sonoran Desert Conservation Plan.

When I came on it was a time of transition for our organization. Over the past 6 years, we have developed clarity of mission and the geography in which we work. We have committed ourselves to being a truly binational organization and a model for diversity, equity, inclusion and access.

View of the Santa Rita Mountains from the grasslands of Las Cienegas National Conservation Area near Tucson Arizona. ©Bill Hatcher, 2020

Just last March, as we celebrated our 30th anniversary, I looked around to our dream team of staff and outstanding board and knew that my retirement was coming at a time when all the pieces were in place for Sonoran’s next leaders to move the organization forward. As I move on, I know our community-based conservation, river restoration, climate resilience efforts, all of which focus on water, are in the best possible hands.

I want to thank you, our supporters, our partners and friends because you have been and will continue to be critical to the success of our work on the Colorado and Santa Cruz Rivers and the communities that are nourished and sustained by them. Without you the transformational change we’ve accomplished would not have been possible. Through your advocacy and generosity we are growing as a binational organization, serving diverse communities in the Colorado River basin and making our vision for resilient communities living in harmony with the natural world a reality.

Stephanie with staff and board member at the 30th anniversary celebration

For my time at Sonoran Institute, I have been a member of the Hummingbird Circle and a Sustainer, meaning that I contribute more than $1,000 per year by making a recurring monthly gift. This type of giving is not only more affordable in that I am giving a smaller amount each month rather than a larger lump sum each year, but also enables me to actually give more on an annual basis than I might if I only gave once or twice a year. I encourage you to become a Sustainer as well. Giving monthly provides reliable support for work that happens every day in restoring sites like Laguna Grande and Las Arenitas, monitoring the health of the Santa Cruz River, fostering relationships with diverse communities and the collaboration to build resilience.

Thank you for the privilege of being your CEO.

Be well and stay resilient.


Blog Post By: Stephanie SklarChief Executive Officer of the Sonoran Institute

Stephanie Sklar