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A TNC Trustee’s Journey from “Rabble-Rouser” to Nonprofit Director — The Nature Conservancy in Washington

Senator Henry “Scoop” Jackson, a household pal and head of the Inside Appropriations Committee when Martha was an undergrad at UC Berkeley, influenced the course of her life by discovering her seasonal summer time jobs with the Nationwide Park Service within the North Cascades. The work ranged from choosing up rubbish to preserving trails, all with the backdrop of the wild Cascades that surrounded her publish in Stehekin. Martha remembers this time working and scrambling within the wild fondly, recalling “dreamy” summers earlier than telephones and televisions have been family home equipment.  

As a youth, she adopted her lifelong love of climbing and climbing to Norway, the place a lot of her prolonged household lives. There, Martha embraced friluftsliv, the nation’s “right-to-roam” legal guidelines and philosophy that enable people to discover uncultivated and unfettered land. This expertise gave Martha a deep appreciation for the way governments can protect frequent pure areas whereas honoring the deep-rooted connection between tradition and nature.  

Martha volunteered with Amnesty Worldwide whereas learning in Europe, a big cease in a lifetime of volunteer service. Throughout this time, she grew to become concerned with human rights activists and developed a perception that “legal guidelines aren’t mystical however the results of acutely aware selections made by individuals who form the society they want to create.” Armed with ambition and a mastery of French, German, and Norwegian languages, Martha determined it was time to do one thing apart from “working on trains sneaking across the Iron Curtain.” So, she went to regulation college and devoted 15 years as a public defender in King County, Washington.  

Not content material to be outlined by one title, Martha established the Kongsgaard-Goldman Basis in 1988 alongside her husband, Peter Goldman, an environmental and public-interest lawyer. Martha has championed local weather and neighborhood causes by way of this basis, grantmaking for environmental nonprofits like The Nature Conservancy (TNC) in Washington, human rights teams just like the UW Middle for Human Rights, and humanities establishments like JazzEd. Martha believes that “environmental points are the identical as ‘folks’ points,” and her basis’s work displays her perception that safeguarding the setting is inseparable from advocating for the well-being and rights of communities.  

Collectively, the Kongsgaard-Goldmans proceed to dedicate their experience and assets to serving to folks and the planet with a hands-on strategy, personally participating with organizations, and adopting a considerate and inclusive course of for allocating funds. Martha describes her position as considered one of connection, deep listening, fostering long-term relationships, and empowering others to pursue their objectives.  

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