McDowell Sonoran Conservancy Announces New CEO

The Board of Directors for the McDowell Sonoran Conservancy, a Scottsdale-based nonprofit supporting the largest urban land preserve in North America, announced the appointment of Amanda Hofmann-Handy, Ed.D., as the new CEO.

Dr. Hofmann-Handy, who took up the organization’s helm on March 4, brings nearly two decades of experience as a growth-oriented nonprofit leader as well as deep roots in wildlife and natural resource conservation. Her highly tailored expertise will support and unify the McDowell Sonoran Conservancy, whose more than 550 volunteer stewards and 12 staff members support 750,000-plus visitors annually to the McDowell Sonoran Preserve in North Scottsdale.

Dr. Hofmann-Handy’s lengthy record of servant leadership spans the country, from starting her career in zookeeping and curating a living collection within a renowned science center to serving as executive director for a children’s museum. Most recently, she led the program team for the Girl Scouts Arizona Cactus-Pine Council, working across a vast and diverse jurisdiction. She also supported curriculum design on behalf of the national organization.

Throughout her extensive nonprofit and environmental stewardship work, Dr. Hofmann-Handy has grounded her philosophy in the importance of education as a key to conservation – one of the many areas of harmony she shares with the McDowell Sonoran Conservancy.

“From our first conversation with Dr. Hofmann-Handy, it was clear her energy and passion for our mission would be contagious,” said McDowell Sonoran Conservancy Board Chair Margie Traylor. “She’s not just a CEO with a strong leadership background. Amanda speaks all of the languages necessary to guide the vision for and future of our organization – from a hands-on understanding of environmental stewardship and the importance of a volunteer base to the critical impact education has on what we do for our Scottsdale community and scientific contributions at large.”

In the coming months, Dr. Hofmann-Handy will drive the McDowell Sonoran Conservancy’s strategic plan alongside the Board of Directors, fostering greater alignment in the organization and among the community. She will also work directly with donors to advance the organization’s groundbreaking research and honor its mission celebrating science, education and stewardship.

“This is an incredible opportunity that twines together the three things I’m most passionate about: conservation, learning and philanthropy,” said Dr. Hofmann-Handy. “The harmonies I share with the McDowell Sonoran Conservancy honor every facet of my professional and academic work. I am confident our alignment will result in a truly impactful future for the entire organization, the land it protects and the visitors who enjoy the preserve every single day.”

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