Farm & Wilderness and the Ninevah Foundation are thrilled to announce that after an extensive search, Frances McLaughlin has accepted the position as Executive Director of both organizations. In the weeks and months ahead she looks forward to meeting campers— new and returning— their families, and alumni at a virtual Town Hall (schedule to come), and at F&W in the summers to come.

Throughout the selection process, Frances impressed members of the Search Committee the moment they met her. She demonstrated depth of expertise and passion for the organization. Over the course of the search process the Search Committee and the full Board had the pleasure of getting to know her better and are very excited to welcome her as our new Executive Director.

Frances shared, “The mission, the people, and the place all speak to me. In talking to alumni and parents of campers, they stress the strong and supportive Farm & Wilderness community; the rustic outdoors as an enabler of creativity, growth, and confidence; and Farm & Wilderness’ long-standing commitment to social justice. The words of one alumna have stuck with me—‘It was the blueprint for my life.’” Frances and the F&W team are already starting to plan for next summer. “We are committed to giving as many campers as we can that simple, rustic and exciting F&W experience. Now more than ever, we all need a signal of hope.”

In Frances, the Board is fortunate to have found someone who has experience guiding an organization through challenging times. She has already won Board and staff hearts by diving in, asking questions, and summarizing themes and projects she considers vital to our success. It is always a delight to hear her enchanting laugh and to feel the energy radiating from her.

While Frances is new to the Farm & Wilderness community, she brings over 25 years of experience leading non-profit and philanthropic organizations, primarily in the education sector. She has deep experience in program development and assessment, marketing, fundraising, and building internal culture. Prior to joining Farm & Wilderness, Frances ran her own consulting and coaching practice for a wide range of clients including the Asante Africa Foundation, Equal Opportunity Schools, the Ford Foundation, Pahara Institute, and Wildflower Foundation. Before that Frances served as the President of Education Pioneers, and was a senior director at The Broad Foundation. Earlier in her career she held marketing and program leadership roles at the Council on International Educational Exchange and EF Education.

Believing that boards play a critical role in the health and vitality of non-profit organizations, Frances has served on the boards of the Waring School, the First Religious Society (UU) in Newburyport, MA, School Leaders Network, KIPP: Massachusetts, and CSIET.

Frances is an avid gardener, fair-ish weather hiker and skier, eager traveler, small farm supporter, recreational artist, and student of good governance and Yoga philosophy. She is an advocate for increased social, educational, and economic equity; new approaches to learning; and the arts. She is married to William Nourse, whose family owns and operates Nourse Farm in Westborough, MA, the 10th oldest business continually operated by one family in the United States, and they have one daughter, Georgia, who is eager to spend more time in Vermont!

Please join us in welcoming Frances to the Farm & Wilderness and Ninevah Foundation communities! Frances is eager to connect and learn, encouraging those with any questions or thoughts to share to reach out to her at frances@farmandwilderness.org.

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