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May 18, 2022
Trustees of Reservations Names John Judge as President, CEO
John Judge
John Judge

December 14, 2021 — The Trustees of Reservations, a Boston nonprofit that is the largest conservation and preservation organization in Massachusetts, which cares for 123 sites across the state, last week announced it appointed John Judge as its president and chief executive officer.

He succeeds Barbara Erickson, who led the Trustees of Reservations for nine years until her death in January following a battle with cancer. Since last fall, Jocelyn Forbush has served as acting president and CEO, and will return to her prior role as executive vice president.

“We are pleased to welcome John to The Trustees at a time when our shared future depends so much on our ability to connect with the natural world and with each other in healthy ways,” said Nicie Panetta, vice chair of the board of directors. “John impressed us with his passion for outdoor citizenship and his focus on making the work of The Trustees both accessible and inspiring to everyone in the Commonwealth. His track record of success as a national voice for climate and environmental justice will enable The Trustees to build on its existing initiatives in these critical areas.”

Judge, who will assume his new role in January, has been leading the Appalachian Mountain Club, a Boston nonprofit dedicated to the protection, enjoyment, and understanding of the outdoors, for the last 10 years. He has expertise in conservation policy, outdoor recreational infrastructure, nature system services, and climate resiliency.

The Trustees said he will lead the organization by setting strategy, advancing programmatic goals, fostering environmental innovation, and supporting a culture of diversity, inclusion, and equity.

“I am thrilled to bring my enthusiasm and appreciation for the outdoors to the depth and breadth of work that is The Trustees,” said Judge. “We are in a timely and unique position to be ambitious in our approach to historic, urban, and rural conservation. Our beautiful coastlines, waterfronts, agricultural land, and many cultural and historic sites are all a part of the fabric of Massachusetts. It is crucial to preserve these spaces and ensure that they are accessible to our entire community.”

Previously, Judge was the chief city planning and economic development officer for the City of Springfield. During that time, he oversaw redevelopment in Springfield, including various commercial and industrial projects and the establishment of the University of Massachusetts Design Center.

Earlier, he served as state chair and commissioner of the Massachusetts Service Alliance, a Boston-based nonprofit that serves as the state commission on community service and volunteerism, and as executive director of Habitat for Humanity Greater Boston.

Judge earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics from Stonehill College, a Master of Public Administration degree in leadership and a Master of Public Administration degree in nonprofit, public, and organizational management from Harvard University.

“We have immense gratitude for Jocelyn’s stewardship through one of the most challenging years in organizational history including a global pandemic and the passing of Barbara Erickson,” said board chair Peter B. Coffin. “The great work of The Trustees continues to embrace and reflect our mission to connect people to the joy of time spent in our open spaces. We thank Jocelyn for calmly leading through turmoil while ensuring our financial stability and retaining our valued staff.”

Founded in 1891, The Trustees today welcomes two million visitors annually, has a membership reaching more than 100,000 households, and an annual operating budget surpassing $40 million.

In 2016, The Trustees launched a 10-year public gardens strategy, and many elements have been achieved with the recent re-opening of Stevens-Coolidge House and Gardens, North Andover; and Long Hill, Beverly, following multi-year rejuvenation projects. It’s current One Waterfront initiative aims to create accessible and environmentally resilient parks in Boston.

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