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Vermont Conservation Voters Hires Political Director

Vermont Conservation Voters recently hired Lauren Hierl as political director.

Hierl, who is currently the Environmental Health Advocate at VPIRG, fills the newly-created position at VCV. She starts in early March.

“We are thrilled to have Lauren join VCV. Her demonstrated commitment to conservation, her grassroots and political skills, and her direct experience at the Vermont State House are all huge assets,” said Stark Biddle, chair of the VCV board. “There is no doubt she will hit the ground running,” he said.

Biddle said Hierl will coordinate the political work of VCV including tracking environmental legislation, scoring lawmakers on votes, and preparing scorecards to help Vermonters decide whom to vote for at election time based on lawmakers’ environmental track records.

“VCV can play a unique role in advancing policies to protect Vermont’s environment, and I’m excited to be joining the organization,” Hierl said.

As part of her recent work at VPIRG, Hierl successfully led the effort to enact the nation’s most protective law on toxic flame retardant chemicals. She developed policy language, lobbied lawmakers, managed a coalition, generated media coverage, and activated Vermonters in order to assure passage of the measure.

Before working at VPIRG, Hierl led grassroots and policy efforts in Washington DC at both the National Audubon Society and the Alaska Wilderness League in support of protections for public lands in Alaska. Her work there included successfully advocating for stronger federal protections for the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

Hierl has a BA from Dartmouth College and two masters degrees from Duke University: one in public policy and one in environmental management.

The non-partisan VCV, which is a 501c4 non-profit organization, is the political arm of Vermont’s statewide environmental community. VCV lobbies lawmakers to pass pro-environment and clean energy legislation. The organization also scores lawmakers’ voting records and supports pro-environment candidates in elections.

VCV has a legal structure that allows it to donate money to legislative candidates, lobby full time at the State House, and hold elected and administrative officials accountable for their votes.

Last year, VCV and the Vermont Natural Resources Council entered into a strategic partnership. The organizations, which have been mainstays of the Vermont conservation movement for many years, remain separate entities and pursue their complementary missions, but have overlapping boards of directors.

VNRC, the state’s oldest Vermont-based statewide environmental group, is known for its well-researched advocacy and focus on public education and citizen involvement.

For more info about VCV visit  vermontconservationvoters.org