The Mojave Desert Land Trust announced Tuesday members of a new executive team to lead the organization.
Cody Hanford and Kelly Herbinson will serve as joint executive directors, sharing the overall responsibility of leading the organization, once outgoing director Geary Hund steps down on Sunday, according to the organization.
Herbinson has 20 years of experience working in biological research, conservation and community outreach, primarily focused on protecting the Mojave Desert region of California, according to MDLT. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Ecology, Behavior and Evolution, and a master’s degree in Ecology and Systematics. She has served on the MDLT’s board of directors since 2013.
“As a long-time board member, I have seen the Mojave Desert Land Trust grow into one of the leading conservation organizations in the California desert,” Herbinson said in a statement. “I’m honored and excited for the opportunity to work with Cody in serving as joint executive directors. We’re looking forward to channeling our energy into protecting the desert landscape for the people and species that call it home.”
Hanford has nearly 20 years of experience in California desert conservation through a number of roles he’s held over the years, most recently as a deputy executive director of the MDLT, where he formed the organization’s Natural Resources Management Division.
“I have been involved with the Mojave Desert Land Trust for over a decade as a contractor, supporter, and partner, and this co-director partnership ensures long-term stability in the executive team role,” Hanford said in a statement. “This is a dream come true for me! I feel so fortunate to work closely with Kelly, a person whom I respect and admire, as we navigate the Land Trust into this next chapter.”
Hund will be stepping down to pursue personal endeavors, according to MDLT.
During Hund’s tenure, MDLT acquired more than 22,000 acres of California desert. As a result, the organization now protects more than 100,000 acres of desert within the state.