July 7, 2017

Ankeny, Iowa—The Soil and Water Conservation Society (SWCS) announced today that Clare Lindahl has been selected as the organization’s new chief executive officer. She will assume the position on August 15, 2017.

“I am honored to be chosen by the board to further grow and develop the Society,” said Lindahl. “I see lots of potential to add value to the membership, recruit new members, and engage in important conservation projects. I look forward to hearing from the members and hitting the ground running to expand the Society for the next generation.”

Since 2012, Lindahl has served as executive director for Conservation Districts of Iowa (CDI), a nonprofit organization that informs, educates, and supports the 500 soil and water conservation district commissioners within the state. In this position, she grew the organization from a staff of 1 to 13 and increased the budget by 51%. The CDI Board of Directors cites Lindahl’s ambition and ability to get things done as the forces behind the organization’s success.

Lindahl has earned recognition among her peers for her talent in engaging and uniting diverse stakeholders to achieve conservation goals and has been selected to chair the Watershed Planning Advisory Council, a legislative-appointed board with divergent views, for two straight terms. She is also the current chair of the Iowa Source Water Ag Collaborative.

Previously, Lindahl brought together urban and rural stakeholders at Scott County Soil and Water Conservation District in Davenport, Iowa, to improve water quality in Duck Creek and other local streams that flowed into the Mississippi River. She also served as natural resources program manager with River Action, Inc., from 2007 to 2009, where she was integral in the development, funding, and realization of the Quad City Watershed Plan, a bi-state watershed conservation planning effort.

“Clare has enormous passion and vision for conservation that can help lead our organization into the future,” said Rex Martin, SWCS board vice-president and CEO selection committee chair. “I look forward to her leadership working with our chapters, projects, and members.”

Lindahl has served in a leadership role within the SWCS Iowa Chapter since she took on management of the chapter’s website in 2012. She is serving as the president of the Iowa Chapter through the fall of 2017. In this role she has organized state-wide educational meetings, developed the chapter’s strategic plan, and recruited nearly 100 new members since October of 2016 through a series of innovative membership drives and events.

Impressed by Lindahl’s range of experience, organizational leadership track-record, and knowledge of conservation issues, the SWCS Board of Directors voted unanimously to name her the new CEO. SWCS Board Member and Southeast Region Director Dale Threatt-Taylor said that Lindahl’s understanding of the importance of the Society’s mission as well as her excitement for chapter growth and SWCS support make her an ideal leader for the organization.

“She will make history for SWCS, not just by becoming the first woman to lead the organization, but by returning us to our Hugh Hammond Bennett roots of local chapter and member engagement," said Threatt-Taylor.

“We offer Clare an enthusiastic welcome and look forward to her leadership as SWCS continues its quest of sound science in the practice of conservation,” said SWCS President Jon Scholl.


Soil and Water Conservation Society is a nonprofit scientific and educational organization that fosters the science and art of natural resource conservation. For more information on the Soil and Water Conservation Society mission, programs, and events, visit www.swcs.org, or follow on Facebook at /soilandwaterconservation or Twitter @swcsnews.

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