• Vanessa Kritzer, Executive Director
  • Vanessa is a lifelong conservation advocate who has dedicated her career to working at the federal, state, and local levels for social and environmental progress. She spent years working for nonprofits in Washington, DC, including on international land and human rights issues at the Latin America Working Group and on mobilizing people for environmental action at the League of Conservation Voters.

    Vanessa holds MBA and MPA degrees from the University of Washington’s Foster School of Business and Evans School of Public Policy and Governance. During graduate school, she was appointed by Governor Inslee to serve as the sole student member of the University of Washington Board of Regents. She also brings experience from the private sector, having worked at Microsoft on smart city and healthcare technology that helps make communities healthier, safer, and more sustainable. Vanessa is an elected member of the Redmond City Council, where she currently serves as Council Vice President. During her time on council, she has worked on local and regional conservation policy, including leading as Vice Chair of the WRIA 8 Salmon Recovery Council and as a member of the King Conservation District Advisory Committee and the Lake Sammamish Kokanee ILA Management Committee.

    She also serves on other regional boards engaged in public-private partnerships, sustainable economic development, and effective transportation policies, such as the Eastside Transportation Partnership and OneRedmond. Vanessa is a devoted mom and loves spending her free time taking her family out to play in parks and hike the trails near her home in Redmond and beyond. She also enjoys volunteering, supporting local art, and playing strategic board games.

  • Kate Dolan, Program Coordinator
  • Kate grew up in Kirkland, Washington and graduated from Whitman College with a bachelor's degree in Environmental Humanities. During her time in college, Kate interned with the Blue Mountain Land Trust, and developed a deep interest in the vital role landowners play in conservation initiatives.

    After graduation, Kate moved to New Zealand and worked for two environmental organizations: the National Wetland Trust and Trees for Survival. While at the National Wetland Trust, she helped develop educational programming that highlighted the cultural and ecological significance of wetlands to New Zealand's landscapes. At Trees for Survival, Kate facilitated events between schools and landowners, which involved planting native trees along riparian areas. The collaborative experiences between community groups and landowners continued to fuel her interest in conservation across working landscapes.

    After moving back to Washington, Kate spent a year working for a Seattle based software company where she honed her skills in engaging audiences and facilitating conversations. In her free time, Kate enjoys spending time hiking, writing, and traveling.

Photo Of Gaby
  • Gaby (Gabriela) Batinich, Policy and Strategic Initiatives Intern
  • Gaby grew up in Northern Minnesota and moved to the Pacific Northwest for university. She recently graduated from Seattle University with degrees in Environmental Studies and Spanish Language. Gaby combined these two areas of study in her senior thesis looking at land use practices in Post-Peace Accord Colombia which grew her interest in people-land relationships. Her passion lies in environmental justice and community engagement. In her free time, Gaby enjoys exploring the PNW in many forms (hiking, skiing, climbing, swimming), and crafting. Gaby is eager to contribute to the WALT team and to grow her conservation experience with us.

Board of Directors

  • Skip Swenson, Treasurer
  • Curt Soper