Ms. Nelson is a retired lawyer and her career in law included service as a partner in a Nashville law firm, Chief Deputy Attorney General in Tennessee and General Counsel for the United States Environmental Protection Agency during the Clinton-Gore administration. During her EPA tenure she served as a US Delegate to both the UN Cairo Conference on Population and Development and the UN Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing. After returning from to Nashville from Washington in 1999, she undertook a second career in the non-profit executive world, co-founding The Land Trust for Tennessee and leading the organization for 16 years until she retired from her position in 2016.
Non-profit organizations have played and continue to play a significant part in her life. She has served on the Board of the Southern Environmental Law Center for 30 years, and she chaired it for eight years. She served three terms on the national Land Trust Alliance Board, in part as VP for Policy. She began the greenways system in Nashville almost 30 years ago and now serves on the city’s Greenways Commission again. She is currently organizing a project in Nashville to commemorate the 100th Anniversary of Tennessee’s key role in the ratification of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution granting women the right to vote.
- Environmental Law
- Non-Profit Management
- Non-profit Governance
- Women’s Rights
- Juris Doctorate, Vanderbilt
- Bachelor of Arts, Vanderbilt University
- Honorary Degree in Civil Law, Sewanee: the University of the South
Personal Connection to the Ocean
Her experience with Coastal Protection of the Southeastern States.