Nevada Conservation League Announces New Executive Team
Organization Poised to Take Aggressive Steps to Address Environmental Justice
Today the Board of the Nevada Conservation League is proud to announce Paul Selberg as their new Executive Director, and Verna Mandez as the Deputy Director.
Selberg has an extensive work history in Nevada, most recently serving as the Nevada State Director for Mayor Pete Buttiegieg’s presidential campaign. Prior to that, he served as the Executive Director of the Nevada Assembly Democratic Caucus where he oversaw the election of the most diverse state legislature in the nation with the first female majority in the country. In his role with the Assembly Caucus, he not only executed successful campaign strategies, he was also intimately involved in the legislative process, helping to bridge the gap between policy and politics with caucus members, working closely with the Speaker of the Assembly to formulate and execute the Assembly’s legislative agenda.
Mandez is a Las Vegas native. As an activist and community leader, Verna has focused her work and studies on the disproportional impacts environmental degradation has on communities of color and low income communities. Verna joins NCL from the office of U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto, where she assists with Energy and Natural resource work and leads the Southern Nevada, Transportation, Science and Technology portfolios. Prior to her time at the office of Senator Cortez Masto, Verna worked as a Community Organizer and Political Assistant, where her work has centered around various issues including the preservation of public lands, access to renewable energy, and ensuring there is a just and equitable federal judiciary.
“We are thrilled to have Paul and Verna leading our team,” said Nevada Conservation League Board Chair Justin Watkins. “Both Paul and Verna have a passion for Nevada and will fight to ensure that we are a leader in the environmental justice movement, taking meaningful steps to protect our public lands and open spaces and making Nevada a healthier place to live and raise a family. Their leadership will take NCL to the next chapter of movement building and the entire board is excited to be a partner in this critical work.”
“I am honored to be joining the Nevada Conservation League, an organization that has been a leader on expanding clean and renewable energy, protecting public lands and wildlife, and promoting the overall health and safety of our environment,” said incoming Executive Director Paul Selberg. “I am committed to continuing the growth of a more inclusive organization by working with Chispa Nevada and environmental justice groups who have forged the foundational work of enacting fundamental change. I’m excited to join this fight and create an equitable, inclusive, and just Nevada, so that no corner of our state is taken advantage of or forgotten.”
“NCL is an organization I have tremendous respect for and I look forward to continuing my work in fighting for low income families and communities of color who are hardest hit by the effects of climate change,” said Verna Mandez, incoming Deputy Director. “Protecting the state I love, from the air we breathe to the water we drink and the lands we recreate on, is the work of generations and I believe we can make real and lasting changes by working directly with our communities. I am thrilled to be a part of such important work.”
An official Transition Committee has also been formed to make the leadership transition as seamless as possible. The committee will play a key role in developing relationships with stakeholders, community members, and donors by providing a more holistic approach to the environmental hazards that disproportionately affect frontline communities within and throughout Nevada. The committee will be chaired by NCL board member Hazel Wong, and is comprised of the following community members (still in formation):
- Hazel Wong, Director, Conservation Campaigns, Nature Conservancy, Board member of Nevada Conservation League
- Andy Maggi, Outgoing Executive Director, Nevada Conservation League
- Leora Olivas, Collective Impact
- Gariety Pruitt, State Director, For Our Future
- Duy Nguyen, Executive Director, ONE APIA
- Barbara Hartzell, State Director, Care in Action
- Reverend Leonard Jackson, Director, Faith Organizing Alliance
- Kyle Davis
- Robert Buntjer, Former Board Chair, Nevada Conservation League, IBEW
- Joceyln Torres, Senior Field Director, Conservation Lands Foundation
NCL works to protect our climate, air, water, land, and health by translating conservation values into political and policy priorities that we actively promote so all Nevada’s communities can thrive. We recognize that certain communities are disproportionately impacted by environmental degradation and climate disruption, and at all levels of our work we seek more environmentally just outcomes. We strive to do all of our work in a way that recognizes and builds a deeper understanding of racial and social justice and that builds a more inclusive organization.
The NCL family of organizations includes Nevada Conservation League, a 501(c)(4) organization, Nevada Conservation League Education Fund, a 501(c)(3) organization, and Nevada Conservation League Political Action Committee, our political arm that directly helps elect pro-conservation candidates win office.
To donate to our cause go to https://nevadaconservationleague.org/contribute/.