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
Corporate and Member Engagement

Matthew Boyer joined the organization in November 2012 and brings more than 20 years of experience in non-profit fundraising. At American Forests, Matthew builds partnerships between the organization and its corporate partners and individual members.

Just prior to American Forests, Matthew worked for the National Park Foundation, which is the Congressionally chartered nonprofit partner of America’s national parks. In this capacity, he was director of major gifts. His prior experience in fundraising for environmental and social justice organizations includes positions at the Human Rights Campaign, National Parks Conservation Association and World Wildlife Fund.

Matthew is an avid hiker, camper and national park enthusiast, visiting nearly half of the 400+ national park units in the United States. He has traveled to many parts of the world and has visited some of the United States’ most remote places. Matthew and his family live in Fredericksburg, Va., on their small farm.

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

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Jeff Lerner - Senior Staff Photos

Jeff Lerner
Vice President
Conservation Programs

Jeff has worked in conservation for over 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.

He has served as a national expert on State Wildlife Action Plans and worked to integrate conservation with local land use planning in urbanizing parts of the U.S. He also managed a national portfolio of $130 million in active grants including land conservation, restoration, and research on policy & conservation finance.

He began his career with birds of prey in the western U.S. working on landscape scale projects covering public and private lands. His training includes degrees in Conservation Biology & Sustainable Development as well as Zoology. Jeff has most recently served as senior advisor and project director for The Conservation Fund, pioneering their work in the area of climate change.

“To me the forest is more important than the tree by itself and I’m curious about how compositions of trees and other vegetation support a diversity of wildlife species.”

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Lea Sloan
Vice President

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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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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Christopher Horn

Christopher Horn

Christopher Horn manages American Forests’ marketing, media relations and digital communications strategy and projects. Christopher has worked in public relations and communications in the forestry field for more than five years. After graduating from the University of Kansas with a degree in journalism, he moved to Washington, D.C., where he began working at Casey Trees, an urban forestry nonprofit. While at Casey Trees, Christopher coordinated marketing campaigns, organized community outreach and managed the organization’s brand identity.

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Lindsey Huerter

Lindsey Huerter
Corporate Giving

Lindsey Huerter manages new and existing corporate partner relationships to increase support for the many programs and projects American Forests implements each year. Lindsey is a native of Grand Rapids, Michigan and attended Grand Valley State University where she earned degrees in international business and marketing. 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. It was this work and the many outreach efforts the Dragons did for the community that led her to conservation and a desire to work for an organization making a positive impact each and every day.

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Ian Leahy

Ian Leahy
Urban Forest Programs

Ian Leahy 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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Eric Sprague

Eric Sprague
Forest Conservation

Eric Sprague leads the implementation of forest conservation efforts, including Global ReLeaf and wildlife habitat initiatives. He is a vocal advocate for forests, given their unique ability to provide people with many benefits at once including keeping water clean, air free of pollutants and habitats healthy.

When Eric is not working to conserve forests, he enjoys walking through them looking for birds and exploring with his family. Eric is originally from Terre Haute, Indiana, and received a joint master’s degree in environmental science and policy from nearby Indiana University. 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. EPA’s smart growth program.

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