Executive Staff

Scott Steen

Scott Steen
President & CEO

Scott joined American Forests in December 2010. During his tenure, American Forests has planted more than 20 million trees in more than 250 different restoration projects, launched multiple programs and initiatives, and tripled membership. Previously, Scott served as executive director of the American Ceramic Society, an international organization of materials scientists and engineers; and as chief strategy officer for the American Society of Association Executives and chief operating officer for the Center for Association Leadership.

AF Inspiration: “I am inspired every day by the wild places we restore and by the people who do the hard work of conserving our forests. I am also humbled to be leading an organization with such a remarkable legacy.”

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Matthew Boyer

Matthew Boyer
Vice President of Development

Matthew joined the organization in November 2012 and brings more than 20 years of experience in nonprofit fundraising. At American Forests, Matthew builds partnerships between the organization and its corporate partners and individual members. Matthew was previously director of major gifts for the National Park Foundation and also served as a senior fundraiser at the Human Rights Campaign, National Parks Conservation Association and World Wildlife Fund.

AF Inspiration: “My family hikes, camps and moved out of the city to land filled with dense forests. My work at American Forests gives me so much pride because I know I am helping restore and protect these places for families like mine for generations.”

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Peter Hutchins

Peter Hutchins
Vice President & COO

Peter oversees the business and financial operations of American Forests, as well as technology and human resources. Previously, Peter was the vice president of knowledge initiatives at the American Society for Association Executives, where he was responsible for engaging thought leaders from both inside and outside the nonprofit community and developing knowledge resources for the profession.

AF Inspiration: “I remember loving to climb trees as a child. Each one was a unique puzzle that I wanted to solve to get to the highest point, which offered me a place where I could take in the world from a different vantage point. Now, I can help ensure there are more trees available for future generations of climbers.”

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Jeff Lerner

Jeff Lerner
Vice President of Conservation Programs

Jeff has worked in conservation for more than 20 years on national-level planning, policy and funding for habitat conservation for several conservation organizations, including The Nature Conservancy, Defenders of Wildlife and the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation. His training includes degrees in conservation biology & sustainable development, as well as zoology. Jeff most recently served as senior advisor and project director for The Conservation Fund, pioneering their work in the area of climate change.

AF Inspiration: “We work in very important ecosystems to help recover habitat for at-risk wildlife. I am amazed at how much impact this organization has for its size. Part of that is the incredible network of on-the-ground partners we have cultivated over decades, both in the U.S. and around the world.”

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Lea Sloan

Lea Sloan
Vice President of Communications

Lea manages American Forests’ communications efforts, including overseeing American Forests magazine; our website, blog and social media; and the development of marketing and communications materials and media. From 2002 until 2010, Lea was vice president of communications at PBS. Previously, Lea was senior vice president of marketing and communications at PAX TV. Her experience also includes more than a decade as a columnist at The Boston Globe.

AF Inspiration: “I find trees and forests endlessly fascinating. Virtually every day, I learn something new about how they nurture and support the complexity of life on which our world depends.”

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Staff Directors

Christopher Horn

Christopher Horn
Director of Communications

Chris brings years of nonprofit communications experience to American Forests, where he has managed marketing, media relations and digital communications strategy and projects for the organization since 2014. After getting his journalism degree from the University of Kansas, he worked at Casey Trees, an urban forestry nonprofit based in Washington, D.C.

AF Inspiration: “An important part of our mission is inspiring people to care about forests. Pairing my own passion for forest conservation and the work I do at American Forests means I can help us achieve that mission.”

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Lindsey Huerter

Lindsey Huerter
Director of Corporate Giving

Lindsey manages new and existing corporate partner relationships to increase support for the many programs and projects American Forests implements each year. Prior to joining American Forests in April 2016, Lindsey oversaw a variety of corporate partnership accounts for the Dayton Dragons, a baseball team out of Dayton, Ohio and the single-A affiliate of the Cincinnati Reds, for more than five years.

AF Inspiration: “It’s a great feeling to know I can help American Forests build partnerships that will fund programs that restore crucial ecosystems.”

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Ian Leahy

Ian Leahy
Director of Urban Forests Programs

Ian helps communities better improve and manage their urban forests — expanding tree canopy cover and greenspace in our nation’s cities. He most recently served as the state urban and community forestry coordinator for the District of Columbia. Before that, he worked as an urban forestry instructor for Baltimore’s Department of Recreation and Parks and as the managing editor of the publication Communities and Forests. Ian worked at American Forests earlier in his career and returned in 2014.

AF Inspiration: “American Forests has been at the forefront of every major era in the field of urban forestry. I saw the next era beginning to emerge and knew where I needed to return to help make it happen.”

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Jimmy O'Connor

Jimmy O’Connor
Senior Director of Major Gifts

Jimmy helps people connect their passion for forests, wildlife and treasured landscapes with the mission of American Forests. Bringing his personal interests in the great outdoors along with 20 years of experience in conservation work, Jimmy focuses on helping American Forests’ members demonstrate their commitment to protecting and restoring forests. Prior to joining the organization in August 2016, Jimmy was director of grants and partnerships for the National Recreation and Park Association and also served with the National Recycling Coalition and American Forest Foundation.

AF Inspiration: “I grew up camping with my parents, but it was my grandfather who instilled in me my passion for connecting with the natural world and the importance of Mother Nature in providing a healthy habitat for all of earth’s flora and fauna. I strive to share these same values with my own children.”

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Eric Sprague

Eric Sprague
Director of Forest Conservation Programs

Eric leads the implementation of our forest conservation efforts, including our American ReLeaf, Global ReLeaf and Wildlands for Wildlife programs. Before joining American Forests, he directed the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay’s efforts to restore forest ecosystems, including accelerating the planting of trees along streams and using market-based forest conservation strategies. Eric has also worked with the Pinchot Institute for Conservation, The Conservation Fund and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s smart growth program.

AF Inspiration: “At American Forests, I help restore forests that countless people and wildlife depend on. Our restoration efforts help provide clean water and air to people across the country and expand habitat for thousands of animal species.”

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Rebecca Turner

Rebecca Turner
Senior Director of Programs and Policy

Becky oversees the formation of the organization’s policy agenda, government relations and external affairs, and advocacy efforts, as well as aids in the development of new programmatic work at American Forests. Prior to joining American Forests, Becky was a mediator for The Keystone Center, a nonprofit dispute resolution organization. Becky has a Master of Environmental Management from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies and a JD from Vermont Law School.

AF Inspiration: “Working at American Forests, I feel like Dr. Seuss’ the Lorax — I get to ‘speak for the trees’ by advocating for strong laws and policies to protect and restore our forests.”

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