Chesapeake Conservancy Welcomes New Board Members

*Courtesy photos available upon request

Stephanie Meeks Elected Chair

Annapolis, Md. – Today, Chesapeake Conservancy announced that Stephanie Meeks has been elected chair of the board of directors, and Daniel M. Ashe, Scott Phillips and Philip Tabas have been elected new board members. Additionally, the board of directors named Randall Larrimore an emeritus director after serving as chair since 2020. Marc Bunting, Leslie Delagran and Dr. Mamie Parker have concluded their board service.

“On behalf of the board, I am pleased to welcome our new board members,” said Chesapeake Conservancy Board Chair Stephanie Meeks. “I look forward to serving as chair during this exciting time of growth and opportunity for Chesapeake Conservancy as we work with our partners to protect 30% of the Chesapeake Bay watershed by 2030.”

“We have so much gratitude for Randall Larrimore and his exceptional leadership, particularly through the pandemic, and many of the organization’s most significant accomplishments. We also thank Marc Bunting, Leslie Delagran and Dr. Mamie Parker for their extraordinary dedication to Chesapeake Conservancy,” Meeks continued.

“Maryland residents for over four decades, my family and I have prospered. We love the outdoors and now see our grandchildren learning to love it as well. Serving on the Chesapeake Conservancy Board will be a way to pay some of our prosperity forward,” said Ashe.

“I’m excited to apply my decades of experience in the Chesapeake restoration effort toward the important goal of conserving lands for people and wildlife. By serving on the board of directors for the Chesapeake Conservancy, we can strive for the Bay watershed to be a national and world leader in collaborative conservation,” said Phillips.

“I have long admired the conservation work of the Chesapeake Conservancy and Joel Dunn’s leadership. I am honored to be able to join the organization and to help contribute to its continued success,” said Tabas.

Daniel M. Ashe

Daniel Ashe is president and chief executive officer of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). AZA is an organization of more than 250 aquariums, zoos and science centers and more than 7,000 individual members across 13 nations. It is the world’s largest, most prestigious zoological accrediting and professional organization.

A lifelong wildlife conservationist, Ashe joined AZA in January 2017 after serving for 22 years in career executive positions within the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, including assistant director for external affairs, chief of the National Wildlife Refuge System, science advisor to the director, and deputy director. President Barack Obama nominated Ashe to be the director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and in June 2011, he was confirmed by the U.S. Senate, serving for nearly six years and leading the agency during a period of extraordinary challenge and opportunity.

Prior to joining the Service, Ashe served for 13 years on the career staff of the former Committee on Merchant Marine and Fisheries in the U.S. House of Representatives. He earned a bachelor’s degree in Biological Science from Florida State University and a graduate degree in Marine Affairs from the University of Washington.

Scott Phillips

Through a career spanning four decades, Scott Phillips accumulated an in-depth knowledge of environmental issues and extensive experience interacting with stakeholders to apply science to advance restoration and conservation efforts.

Phillips served 25 years as the U.S. Geological Survey’s Chesapeake Science Coordinator. He provided leadership in planning and applying science to inform decisions of the Chesapeake Bay Program (CBP) partnership, which collectively invests over $1B annually toward restoration and conservation activities in the Bay and its watershed. Phillips translated and communicated complex technical information into key findings and implications for a wide range of audiences and issues, including fisheries management, habitat recovery, water-quality improvement, land conservation, and the effects of land and climate change on ecosystem conditions. He won the USGS Lifetime Achievement Award for Science Communication for his efforts.

In 2010, Phillips helped craft the president’s strategy for restoring the Chesapeake ecosystem. The strategy included goals to increase land protection and increase public access. He served on the Chesapeake Conservation Partnership Steering Committee, which is working to carry out these goals across the Bay watershed.

Phillips lived his entire life in the Chesapeake watershed and currently resides near Annapolis, where he enjoys hiking, kayaking, and boating with his wife and daughter. He went to school at James Madison University and completed graduate studies at George Washington University.

Phillip Tabas

Philip Tabas is senior advisor with the North American Conservation Region of The Nature Conservancy (TNC) based in Arlington, Va. He served as TNC’s general counsel from 2003 to 2013. Over his 40+ year career at TNC, Tabas has led or helped negotiate numerous private land conservation and compatible economic development projects throughout the United States and in other countries, particularly involving the use of conservation easements and tax and other financial incentives. He has also drafted legislation and advocated to secure conservation tax incentive legislation at the U.S. federal and state levels of government as well as in other countries. Tabas helped lead TNC’s efforts to design conservation planning protocols to implement conservation strategies for system-scale conservation projects and facilitated TNC’s peer-to-peer learning network to build local TNC project teams’ implementation and strategic capacity. Tabas holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English, a Juris Doctor degree in law, a Master of Laws degree in tax law and a Master’s degree in City Planning.

Tabas is a member of the American College of Environmental Lawyers, a former member of the board of directors of The Potomac Conservancy, a member of the board of directors of Friends of Herring River, a member of the board of directors of the American Horticultural Society, a co-author of Comprehensive Planning and the Environment published by Abt Books and for a number of years, he taught a summer course titled “Ecosystem Conservation Strategies” at the Vermont Law School.


Chesapeake Conservancy’s mission is to conserve and restore the natural and cultural resources of the Chesapeake Bay watershed for the enjoyment, education and inspiration of this and future generations. We empower the conservation community with access to the latest data and technology. We partnered to help create 248 new public access sites and permanently protect some of the Bay’s special places like Werowocomoco, Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge, Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad National Historical Park, Mallows Bay National Marine Sanctuary, Fort Monroe National Monument, Elktonia Beach and Pissacoack along Fones Cliffs on the Rappahannock River.