GYC Executive Director steps down

JACKSON, Wyo. — Greater Yellowstone Coalition (GYC) Executive Director Caroline Byrd announced today she will step down as the organization’s leader.

In this new decade and with the arc of her career and life, Byrd will leave the organization on a high note to pursue new opportunities for professional and personal growth. Her last day will be February 29.

Scott Christensen, GYC’s deputy director, has been named interim executive director. Christensen has worked in step with Byrd over the past seven years and has been with the organization for nearly 17. The board is confident Christensen will effectively maintain the vision, strategy, operations, and relationships during this transition.

“GYC will miss Caroline’s extraordinary vision and leadership. However, she leaves us with a skilled, dedicated, and passionate staff who will protect Greater Yellowstone well into the future,” said GYC’s board chair Pete Coppolillo. “During Caroline’s tenure, she has transformed the organization into a powerhouse that has seen conservation win after conservation win.”

Under Byrd’s leadership, GYC grew in size, reach, and reputation. Last month the organization celebrated the completion of a $10 million fundraising campaign to support grizzly bear conservation. Working closely with local community groups and leaders, she also helped pass the Yellowstone Gateway Protection Act and East Rosebud Wild & Scenic Rivers Act, permanently protecting over 30,000 acres from gold mining and one of Montana’s most beautiful rivers from a proposed dam. Byrd tripled GYC’s budget, added offices, staff, built an impressive board of directors, and led campaigns that protected hundreds of thousands of acres.

“Without question, Caroline changed GYC for the better,” the organization said in a press release.

Just over a year ago, Byrd reorganized the Greater Yellowstone Coalition’s staffing structure to create a leadership team with the depth and breadth of experience to carry the organization forward seamlessly and effectively.

“I’m confident the next executive director will be able to transition smoothly into the organization and continue GYC’s long legacy of protecting Greater Yellowstone,” Byrd said.

“I am proud of all that I’ve accomplished as part of this wonderful organization. This has been the best job in the world for me; protecting the wild heart of North America has been an honor. I have built lasting relationships that will be with me forever and I know I will always be considered part of the GYC family.”

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