Chesapeake Conservancy Welcomes New Board Member

Former Virginia Secretary of Natural Resources Elected to Board

Annapolis, MD – Today, the Chesapeake Conservancy announced Molly Joseph Ward has been elected to its board of directors.

Molly Joseph Ward is the former Virginia Secretary of Natural Resources under the McAuliffe Administration and previously served as Special Assistant to the President and Deputy Director of Intergovernmental Affairs at the White House for President Obama. She is currently serving as Treasurer for the city of Hampton, Virginia.

“Molly brings tremendous leadership experience as well as deeply rooted connections to the Chesapeake Bay watershed. We are honored that she has chosen to contribute her time and talent to the Chesapeake Conservancy’s mission,” Douglas Wheeler, chair of the board, said.

Molly Ward is a native of Hampton, VA, and has dedicated much of her life to public service. Prior to serving as treasurer, she was elected twice as mayor of Hampton and conservation has played a major role in her career. She has served many community organizations, including the local boards of the American Red Cross; Girls Inc.; Little England Chapel; Peninsula Fine Arts Center; and Peninsula Food Bank, the Virginia Outdoor Foundation, and the Fort Monroe Authority. She also participated in the Chesapeake Conservation Partnership, a large landscape conservation initiative co-convened by the Chesapeake Conservancy and the National Park Service. She is a life member of the Hampton NAACP.

“I believe Chesapeake Conservancy is the small nonprofit with the big idea that has become a leader for the application of science to conservation and restoration work. I am honored to be joining the board and look forward to using my experience to contribute to the organization’s mission, goals, and partnerships with the National Park Service and the Environmental Protection Agency,” Ward said.

She has received numerous awards for her leadership and service from diverse groups, including these most recent honors: The President’s Volunteer Service Award 2012 Drum Major for Service; the leadership award from the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity’s Hampton Chapter for “leading the effort to secure national monument status for Fort Monroe”; and topped Veer magazine’s list of the most “culturally important people” in Hampton Roads for 2011. In 2017, Ward received the National Environmental Achievement Award for State Public Service bestowed by the National Association of Clean Water Agencies.

She lives in her family home on Sunset Creek near the mouth of Hampton Roads and has spent her life on the water fishing, crabbing, and enjoying the natural resources of Virginia and the Chesapeake Bay.

Molly is a graduate of the University of Virginia and William & Mary Law School.