Press Release

Izaak Walton League Hires Mike Leahy as Conservation Director


Brings Decades of Policy, Partnership-Building Experience

Gaithersburg, MD – The Izaak Walton League of America announced today that it has hired Mike Leahy as the organization’s new Conservation Director. Leahy will lead planning and implementation of the League’s national conservation work.

Leahy brings to the position more than 18 years of experience at the federal, state, and local levels working on conservation of wildlife, forests, and grasslands; roadless areas; access to public and private lands; and more. He has led a range of advocacy approaches for national conservation organizations, including public policy, field projects, chapter activism, and lobbying. Leahy has worked for the Defenders of Wildlife since 2000, first as a staff attorney and then as the Director of the Rockies and Plains Region, where he managed programs in 11 states and Canada. Prior to that, he spent more than five years running the Forest Campaign of the National Audubon Society.

“We’re excited to have Mike join our team as Conservation Director,” says IWLA Executive Director Scott Kovarovics. “Mike has the skills and experience in policy and advocacy the position demands. He also has a passion for conservation and the outdoors that Ikes across the country share.”

“I believe the League embodies not only the history but the future of conservation, and I am excited to help lead the League into the future,” says Leahy. “Americans have lost a common understanding of what conservation is. The League has the history and credibility to promote a shared vision of conservation, merging strategies from different sources and eras in ways that remain relevant to our evolving society.”

Leahy holds a law degree from Georgetown University and a Bachelor of Science degree in Natural Resources from Cornell University.


Founded in 1922, the Izaak Walton League of America ( protects America's outdoors through education, community-based conservation, and promoting outdoor recreation.