Long-time employee Tracy Zschau has been named Interim President of the Vermont Land Trust (VLT) by the organization’s Board of Trustees. She takes the role after serving VLT for over 25 years, first as a conservation project lead in the Northeast Kingdom then later as Vice President for Land Protection. She will retain her role as Vice President while also serving as Interim President.

“I have served VLT alongside many colleagues and friends for much of my career,” said Zschau. “To serve in a new way, at this time, feels deeply meaningful. The work of the organization expands every day as Vermont grapples with a changing climate, new development pressures, and a history of exclusion and injustice on the land. We’re learning and evolving to meet this moment—alongside partners old and new.”

“Tracy has a long-standing commitment to and deep expertise in land conservation,” said Cherie Morse, Chair of VLT’s Board of Trustees. “She, along with the rest of the leadership team, is well trusted by our partners, landowners, staff, and trustees. We are grateful for this steady leadership at a time when so much opportunity and need is on the horizon.”

Zschau will serve as the Interim President until new leadership has been established. She succeeds Nick Richardson who served as VLT’s President and CEO from September 2017 to March 2023.

“We could have launched a search immediately, but are choosing to pause,” said Morse. “As we deepen our understanding of power, privilege, and equity, we are taking time to contemplate the form of leadership that will best serve VLT and Vermont.”

Zschau lives with her husband, Kurt, in St. Johnsbury, where they have raised two children and explored the mountains, lakes, and forests of the Northeast Kingdom. There, she serves on the St. Johnsbury Selectboard and on the Board of Passumpsic Savings Bank. She is a graduate of the Vermont Leadership Institute at the Snelling Center for Government and recipient of the 2019 VHCB Community Catalyst Award for her leadership in advancing community-based conservation in the Northeast Kingdom. She holds undergraduate degrees from Sterling College and Colby College, and a master’s degree in forestry from the University of Maine, Orono.