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Lynn Scarlett

Former Chief External Affairs Officer

Arlington, VA

Headshot of Lynn Scarlett.

Lynn Scarlett TNC Global Managing Director for Public Policy © Cade Martin


Global Policy Strategy, Climate Change Adaptation, Ecosystem Services, Science and Decision Making




Lynn Scarlett is the former Chief External Affairs Officer at The Nature Conservancy. In this role, she influenced climate and conservation policy in the United States and the more than 70 countries and territories in which TNC operates and, with our Corporate Engagement team, advances private-sector partnerships to support sustainability and enhance ambitious actions to address climate change.

Prior to her role at TNC, Lynn was the Deputy Secretary/Chief Operating Officer of the U.S. Department of the Interior, where she also served as Acting Secretary of the Interior in 2006.

While Interior’s Deputy Secretary, Lynn initiated and chaired the Department’s Cooperative Conservation Working Group and its first-ever Climate Change Task Force. She established the Interior Department’s Ocean and Coastal activities office and chaired the federal Wildland Fire Leadership Council. She served on the Executive Committee of the President’s Management Council and co-chaired the First Lady’s Preserve America initiative.

Lynn is author or co-author of publications on climate change adaptation; ecosystem services; large landscape conservation; and science and decision making. She was a co-convening lead author of the 2014 National Climate Assessment.

She chaired the Science Advisory Board of NOAA from 2014-2020 and a member of the National Academy of Sciences Sustainability Roundtable.

Lynn received her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in political science from the University of California, Santa Barbara, where she also completed her Ph.D. coursework and exams in political science and political economy.

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