Verna Harrison is the principal of Verna Harrison Associates, LLC, providing consulting services in public policy development and implementation, coalition building, facilitation, strategic planning, and board development.
Verna served as executive director for The Keith Campbell Foundation for the Environment from its inception in 2003, to 2014. During that period the Foundation granted over $52 million dollars throughout the Chesapeake Bay watershed, strategically targeted to protect living resources, reduce key sources of nutrient pollution, and increase advocacy. As co-chair of the Chesapeake Bay Funders Network, she helped focus and leverage foundation activity in the region.
For the previous 20 years she was Assistant Secretary of the MD Department of Natural Resources: managing water quality monitoring, geologic, power plant, and coastal zone programs (1995-2003); directing Bay policy for the MD Governor’s Office (1988-1995); managing the forest, park wildlife, tidal and freshwater fishery, police, and environmental trust units (1983-1987). She served as Governor Hughes’ assistant legislative officer, lobbyist for the MD Department of Transportation, and staff of the MD Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee.
She has received leadership awards from organizations including the YWCA, National Wildlife Federation, National Parks Conservation Association, Chesapeake Bay Trust, Chesapeake Bay Commission, EPA, and USFWS. Most recently she was presented with the Clean Water Fund Defender of Clean Water Award, MD League of Conservation Voters Lifetime Achievement Award, Trout Unlimited Lifetime Conservation Achievement Award, and her third Admiral of the Chesapeake Bay.
Verna has a B.A. in political science from the University of Maryland, and completed the Senior Executive Program at the J.F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University.