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Staff Spotlight: Nathan Gregory

Nathan Gregory, the new Senior VP & Chief Programs Officer, has played a crucial role in Irvine Ranch Conservancy's success since 2016, progressing through various leadership roles. Thank you, Nathan, for your invaluable contributions! 📈🌳 #staffspotlight #leadership #stewardship #IRC

Irvine Ranch Conservancy (IRC) works hard to connect the local community with the land while protecting and restoring natural resources. However, none of it would be possible without the hardworking staff that play a vital role in the organization’s success. One of those important members of the team is Nathan Gregory. Nathan was recently promoted to a new role as Senior Vice President and Chief Programs Officer at IRC. His journey with IRC began in 2016. Over the years, he has progressed through various leadership roles within the organization, and today maintains an important position here at IRC. 

Describe your career so far with IRC.

I joined IRC as a Project Manager in 2016 and was primarily responsible for the partnership with Orange County Parks. After a couple of years, I took over as Director of Science and Stewardship and then became Vice President and Chief Programs Officer after helping reorganize IRC into our current program structure. I’m now Senior Vice President and Chief Programs Officer, overseeing our stewardship and community engagement work, as well as the volunteer program.

What have you found the most fulfilling about working at IRC during your tenure?

I find the conservation challenges and the partnership and stakeholder networks to be as complex and interesting as anything I have encountered in my career, both in the US and abroad. However, it’s working with the amazing IRC team and board members, our wonderful volunteers, and the many terrific partners in Orange County and beyond that is most fulfilling.

What are your hopes and aspirations for your new role with IRC?

In collaboration with the leadership team, I hope to build on the work that we’ve done over the past few years to continue to improve our processes and procedures, as well as increase our capacity. We as an organization are fortunate to have such a talented and passionate team, and I want to ensure that everyone has the training and tools that they need to succeed. I’m also very focused on enhancing our ability to collaborate across programs to increase our impact as well as communicate our successes. This extends to the volunteer program as well, and I am excited by our efforts to develop new types of training and opportunities while growing our volunteer corps.

How do you envision the future of IRC over the next few years? How do you hope to contribute to this?

This is a very exciting time to be a part of IRC as we are in a great position to expand our reach and develop new and rewarding partnerships. In part through our fire prevention work, academic partnerships, and increasing engagement with communities throughout the county, we have greatly expanded our influence, and I hope to see this continue. A big part of my job is developing and maintaining relationships, and solving complex challenges will require landscape-scale collaborations with agencies and other non-profits as well as interdisciplinary research involving not only ecologists but social scientists and engineers. I also see IRC as an incubator of talent and would like to see us expand our community engagement and education work to inspire and train the next generation of conservation leaders and stewards.   

Do you have a favorite Landmark or trail?

Weir Canyon holds a special place in my heart because I spent a lot of time there in my early days, particularly managing the gold spotted oak borer infestation. It’s also a place that epitomizes the complexity of the conservation challenges in our area and where you can feel immersed in the wildlands despite being so close to the urban edge.

What do you like to do outside of work for fun?

I love all manner of pop culture but also enjoy paddle boarding, working in my yard, and sharing good beer and a meal with friends.  

Any other messages to staff or volunteers you would like to include?

 I am very proud to be part of IRC and am honored to have been selected for this role. I am beyond excited about what we will achieve together.

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IRC is incredibly grateful to have Nathan on the team, leading the way for the organization’s success. His dedication and expertise have been instrumental in reorganizing IRC into its current program structure, paving the way for a more impactful and efficient organization. Thank you, Nathan!