In August 2013 Vanessa joined the first cohort of Public Policy and Administration PhD students at Boise State University where she’s also serves as the Project Coordinator with the Public Policy and Research Center.
Originally from Ohio, Vanessa’s love for the environment led her to non-profit leadership roles and educational pursuits all over the country. For the past decade she’s chosen to promote positive change through advocacy, smart planning, economic development and teaching. Prior to moving to Idaho Vanessa worked with Cornell University’s Lab of Ornithology and researched Lyme disease with the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies. Since moving to the state she has utilized her skills in nonprofit management, government relations and stakeholder engagement in a number of roles including as the development director for two nonprofits – the Snake River Alliance and the Environmental Resource Center. As the executive director for Citizens for Smart Growth she pursued the use of a number of market based mechanisms for conservation including a transfer of development rights program. She also worked to pass Idaho’s first county-wide open space initiative that raised over $3 million to protect land, water and wildlife in Blaine County, ID (home to the Sun Valley ski resort). As a co-founder and chair of Sustain Blaine, the region’s first public-private partnership of its kind, Vanessa focused on creating a regional economic development strategy for all of Blaine County. Most recently as a mobility manager for the Community Transportation of Idaho (CTAI) Vanessa helped launch the first statewide mobility management system in the country and worked to increase the connectivity between Idaho’s communities while enhancing quality of life and economic growth.
Since 2007 Vanessa has shared her expertise and enthusiasm for market solutions for sustainability as adjunct faculty for the Capital Markets, Micro/Macro Economics and Macro/Ecological Economics courses at Presidio Graduate School.