Our Team

Kate Burgess

Conservation Program Manager

Area of Focus

Land, Wildlife


Chelmsford, Massachusetts



Kate serves as NCEL’s Conservation Program Manager, where she enjoys collaborating with legislators on a variety of land, water, wildlife, and human issues. Her approach to conservation is rooted in principles of equity, and justice; she believes the best interventions to the climate and biodiversity crises are those that take a systems-level approach, uphold Tribal and Indigenous sovereignty, and are community-led.

Central to Kate’s work with States is partnering with & learning from Native nonprofits and Tribal Nations to improve collective understanding of treaty responsibilities, opportunities to uplift Tribal sovereignty, and strategies for prioritizing free, prior and informed consent in environmental decision-making.

Outside of the policy arena, Kate serves on the board for the Fort Collins Audubon Society, as an Executive Council member and DEI Committee Co-Chair for the International Association for Society and Natural Resources, and as a City of Somerville Climate Ambassador. In her free time, she is keen on teaching wilderness medicine courses, playing music with her family, and embarrassing herself on a surfboard in the Atlantic’s winter swell. 

Kate holds an M.S. in Global Conservation Leadership from Colorado State University, and an interdisciplinary, self-designed B.S. in Outdoor Environmental Education from Plymouth State University.