Executives

Scott Steen
President & Chief Executive Officer

Scott Steen was appointed chief executive officer of American Forests in December 2010. He leads the organization in its mission to protect and restore forests. Since coming to American Forests, Scott has focused on developing a stronger scientific foundation for our forest restoration and public policy work, expanding public understanding of the importance of forests for human life and building an emphasis on stewardship and transparency. During his tenure, the organization has planted nearly 10 million trees in approximately 100 restoration projects, has re-launched its Urban Forest program, introduced the Endangered Western Forest initiative, expanded the board of directors and created a Science Advisory Board, engaging some of the most respected researchers in the forest conservation field.

Prior to joining American Forests, Scott was executive director of the American Ceramic Society (ACerS), a technical society whose members work at the frontiers of science in environmental technologies, alternative energy, space exploration and biomaterials. Founded in 1898, ACerS advances the study, understanding and use of ceramic materials and technologies.

Previously, Scott was chief knowledge and strategy officer at the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE), an international organization with 22,000 association and nonprofit leader members. He is a Certified Association Executive, a fellow of ASAE and is the founding editor of the Journal of Association Leadership.

“There are few things that clear my head like a walk in the woods. As a kid, I developed a deep appreciation for the awesome beauty of forests. Later, I discovered the critical role they play in the health of our planet. Forests are among the most important ecosystems on Earth. We ignore them or misuse them at our own peril.”

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Peter Hutchins
Vice President & Chief Operating Officer

Peter Hutchins 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 (ASAE), where he was responsible for engaging thought leaders from both inside and outside the nonprofit community and developing knowledge resources for the nonprofit profession. While at ASAE, Peter served as editor for the Journal of Association Leadership, which won SNAP’s 2007 EXCEL EXTRA award, as well as their silver award for general excellence and design excellence in 2009. He is also a frequent speaker on knowledge management topics and on achieving strategic objectives through social media.

“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 or find a place where I could take in the world from a different vantage point. Now, I am learning how each forest ecosystem is a unique puzzle that can be dramatically affected by fire, insects, disease and other factors. And I can help advocate for solutions to keep these unique ecosystems healthy to ensure there are more trees available for future generations of climbers.”

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Matthew Boyer - Senior Staff Photos

Matthew Boyer
Vice President
Individual Giving

Matthew Boyer builds relationships with American Forests’ supporters and oversees individual membership activities and fundraising. Matthew joined the organization in November 2012 and has more than 20 years of fundraising and nonprofit experience with a primary focus on major gifts and donor engagement.

Just prior to American Forests, Matthew worked for the National Park Foundation, where he was director of major gifts. His prior experience in fundraising for environmental and social justice organizations includes positions at the Human Rights Campaign, The National Foundation for Alternative Medicine, National Parks Conservation Association and World Wildlife Fund.

Matthew is an avid hiker, camper and national park enthusiast. He is also the founder of a Washington, D.C.-based hiking club. He has traveled to many parts of the world and has visited some of the United States’ most remote places. Arlington, Va., is now the place he makes home.

“Forests have always been a place of wonder and solitude for me, even since my childhood in the mountains of central Pennsylvania. I always leave them inspired and in peace.”

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Greg Meyer
Vice President
Corporate Partnerships

Greg Meyer works with American Forests corporate partners to develop programs and initiatives of mutual benefit and to raise funds for American Forests’ work.

Greg began his career at American Forests in 2002 as an intern in the Marketing & Development Department. In 2003, he was promoted to corporate development officer and to director of corporate relations in 2004. He was appointed vice president in October 2007.

Prior to joining American Forests, Greg spent four years working in equity research, covering the internet sector at Montgomery Securities in San Francisco. He received his bachelor’s degree in economics from Colgate University.

Greg lives in Bethesda, Md., with his wife, who is a partner at GKG Law, P.C., and their two children.

“I have always had a passion and respect for our natural world — from surfing and fly fishing to hiking and skiing. And now, it’s a joy watching my kids explore and discover the outdoors while developing their own appreciation for the environment. I feel fortunate to play a role in protecting our forests and, ultimately, our environment.”

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Lea Sloan
Vice President
Communications

Lea Sloan spearheads communications, marketing and branding for American Forests. Lea leads a team that is immersed in all of the organization’s programs and projects, including its Global ReLeaf forest restoration program; its Urban Forests Program efforts; the initiative to protect Endangered Western Forests from the dual blights of pine bark beetles and blister rust; and strategically builds upon the importance, past and future, of the American Forests National Big Tree Program. The Communications team develops content for the organization’s website, blog and social media; directs the editorial, design and production of American Forests’ magazine; and creates marketing materials, including videos, that promote the strengths and values of American Forests.

From 2002 until 2010, Lea was vice president of communications at PBS. Previously, Lea was senior vice president of marketing and communications at Paxson Communications’ PAX TV. Her experience also includes more than a decade as a columnist at The Boston Globe.

Lea and her husband live in Washington, D.C., and in Tilghman Island, Md., where Lea’s inner “outdoor girl” happily joins volunteers planting trees and rain gardens and restoring native landscaping to help preserve the Chesapeake Bay.

“I am awed by the majesty of big, old trees and have a reverence for forests and a great respect for the role they play in sustaining the health of the planet.”

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Program Directors

Rebecca Turner

Rebecca Turner
Senior Director
Programs and Policy

Rebecca Turner, Esq., 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. She has dedicated more than 15 years to environmental and conservation work. Prior to joining American Forests, Becky was a mediator for The Keystone Center, a nonprofit dispute resolution organization, where she resolved multiparty, multi-issue environmental and natural resource policy and law conflicts.

Becky earned a Master of Environmental Management from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies and a Juris Doctor from Vermont Law School. She also holds a Bachelor of Science in environmental conservation from the University of New Hampshire.

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Jami Westerhold

Jami Westerhold
Senior Director
Forest Restoration Programs

Jami Westerhold, Esq., is responsible for the strategic development and management of American Forests’ forest restoration programs, including Global ReLeaf and Endangered Western Forests. Jami has worked in the environmental and conservation arena for more than 10 years. Prior to joining American Forests, Jami served in U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders’ office, working on environmental issues. Previously, she worked for U.S. Senator John Barrasso, the Natural Resources Defense Council, and also developed a pilot program for the Bureau of Land Management that identified and located environmental features and has since been implemented agency-wide.

Jami earned a Master of Environmental Law and Policy and Juris Doctor from Vermont Law School and holds a Bachelor of Arts in environmental studies from Green Mountain College.

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Ian Leahy

Ian Leahy
Director
Urban Forest Programs

Ian is focused on developing innovative American Forests programs that help communities better improve and manage their urban forest assets over the long-term. Before joining the organization in 2014, Ian worked throughout the urban forestry field in nonprofit, municipal operations and state government roles, in addition to being a landscape design and installation business owner in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. 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. After studying Natural Resource Policy and Management at Cornell University, Ian’s first job was at American Forests, implementing community-based forestry initiatives nationwide.

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