John Griffin – Program Manager

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As Partnership Coordinator, John works to advance large landscape conservation initiatives in the Chesapeake Bay watershed by convening diverse, multi-disciplinary stakeholders. The Partnership seeks to extend the conservation of large landscapes throughout the region to benefit multiple values, including sustainability; scenic, historic and cultural heritage; working lands; important bio- diversity and wildlife habitat; water quality and supply; and overall quality of life.

John is the former Secretary of Maryland Department of Natural Resources under two Governors, the Deputy Secretary of the department, the General Manager of the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission, and served as Chief of Staff for Governor Martin O’Malley. He brings decades of experience with resource conservation and environmental protection as well as relationships across the Chesapeake watershed.

John holds a Bachelor of Arts in sociology from Niagara University and Master of Arts in social work from the Catholic University of America. He has five children and three granddaughters and lives in Annapolis with his wife Michele and their twin boys.

Jake Leizear – Senior Geospatial Analyst

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Jake works with both the National Park Service Chesapeake Bay Office and the Chesapeake Conservancy to achieve shared geospatial project goals. A recent graduate from University of Maryland Baltimore County with a Bachelor’s in Environmental Science and a Certificate in GIS, Jake has a background in human GIS application, event planning, graphic design, and project management. Before coming on as the GIS Fellow, Jake assisted the Conservancy in developing the Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail Middle Branch Paddle Guide and worked closely with the Greater Baltimore Wilderness Coalition to connect Baltimore residents with Baltimore’s parks and green spaces. In his free time, Jake enjoys going to the movies, cooking, and camping.

Jessica Elliott – Chesapeake Conservation Corps Member

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Jessica is the Chesapeake Conservation Corps intern for the Chesapeake Conservation Partnership, a network of agencies and organizations that work closely with the Chesapeake Conservancy to conserve culturally and ecologically important landscapes. In her role, Jessica will expand the Partnership’s operating capacity by investigating private conservation funding, developing partner communication tools, and assessing flood vulnerable communities for potential conservation opportunities that could lower community flood insurance rates. Prior to her internship, she attended the University of Maryland, Baltimore County where she earned her Bachelors in Geography and Environmental Science and minored in Ancient Studies and Philosophy. Jessica spends most of her free time reading, hiking, leading her Girl Scout troop, and exploring the Chesapeake Bay.