Lily Verdone is an environmental leader with two decades of experience in partnership building, fostering diverse teams, and strategic development in organizations with a focus on natural resource conservation, water, and climate.
Since 2022, Lily has been the Executive Director for the Marin Agricultural Land Trust (MALT), the first farmland trust in the nation. At MALT, Lily leads a dynamic team to conserve the most important farmland in Marin County, CA, to support a thriving, economically viable agricultural community while protecting biodiversity and building climate resilience.
Prior to joining MALT, Lily helped relaunch Coastal Quest, nonprofit focused on building climate resilience for vulnerable coastal communities. Before that, she spent over a decade with The Nature Conservancy, including serving as the Director of Freshwater and Marine for the Texas Chapter and as the Coastal Program Director for the California Chapter. Much of Lily’s conservation expertise has focused on helping build capacity around climate resilience through partnerships, cutting-edge science, and on-the-ground conservation. She is most passionate about expanding and strengthening unique relationships with non-traditional partners and underserved communities in decisions around nature-based solutions, climate smart policy, and market-based results. She has led a broad range of initiatives, including: developing partnerships with farmers, ranchers, irrigators, and agencies to protect and restore the Santa Clara River Watershed, Oxnard Plain and coastal habitat throughout California; reimagining the recovery of the Texas oyster fishery through restoration for both commercial harvesting and habitat protection; initiating a Gulf of Mexico Sustainable Fisheries Program in collaboration with fishers, industry, and regulators in all five Gulf states, Mexico and Cuba; developing a global planning tool for sea level rise and coastal hazard adaption; and, collaborating with community groups, local agencies and FEMA to reimagine flood resilience post-Hurricane Harvey in the greater Houston Region and across the Gulf Coast.
She has authored publications on coastal resilience, managed retreat and habitat restoration and is frequently called upon as a subject expert by national media. Lily attended Sonoma State University where she obtained a B.A. in Environmental Studies and Planning and an M.S. in Biology. She is a Robert and Patricia Switzer Foundation Fellow.
Fellow at a Glance
Marin Agricultural Land Trust
Coastal & Marine Issues
Conservation Science & Biology
Land, Open Space, Smart Growth
Natural Resource Management
Sustainable Agriculture and Food Policy