Kristen McConnell

Director, Natural Climate Solutions


Areas of expertise:
Climate change, environmental policy and advocacy, collaboration, strategy, organizational capacity-building, sustainable fisheries, protected area management

Kristen is the Director for Natural Climate Solutions. In her work at EDF, Kristen leads strategic collaborations designed to help address the climate challenge by scaling finance for high-integrity approaches to stopping deforestation and other natural climate solutions. She engages experts across EDF and beyond to develop and deploy multi-disciplinary strategies to build policy consensus, strengthen analytical foundations, raise awareness, and engage with external stakeholders including governments, corporations, NGOs, and Indigenous Peoples and local communities. Kristen joined EDF in 2013 to advance fisheries management reform in commercial and recreational fisheries in the Gulf of Mexico.


Before joining EDF, Kristen was Director of the Center for Park Management at the National Parks Conservation Association. At NPCA Kristen applied business and policy expertise to projects designed to build innovation and management capacity within the US National Park Service. Prior to her time at NPCA, Kristen developed a partnership assessment framework for the US National Park Service, conducted research on commercial and recreational fisheries, and developed models to incentivize fishing innovation across the Gulf of Mexico. Kristen sits on the Texas Regional Council for the National Parks Conservation Association and is a former board member of Creative Action and the Great Society Fund. She earned her Masters degree in Public Affairs from the LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin, and her B.F.A. in Applied Theatre from New York University.