SRA announces new Board of Directors President

Published: June 10, 2022

Severn River Association (SRA) Welcomes former DNR Secretary Joe Gill as its Next President

SRA is proud to announce that Joe Gill, former Secretary of the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, has taken the helm as SRA’s new President. The SRA Board of Directors unanimously voted Joe onto its board and as its President, thanks to Joe’s unparalleled experience in natural resource management, conservation, and restoration..  “I fell in love with the Severn River when I moved to the area 25 years ago, bought a kayak, and first felt the breath of wind over water as I paddled its creeks and coves,” Joe recalls. “I accepted SRA’s invitation to join the organization in a leadership role because SRA is uniquely positioned to help restore the River’s water quality and habitat for living creatures, including oysters, using sound science, engaging its members, and in partnership with county and state governments.  I look forward to working with its board, professional staff, and volunteers.”

Joe is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame and received his law degree from Georgetown University. He served as an Assistant Attorney General for Maryland, rising to become Principal Counsel for the Maryland DNR. Joe most recently led the Prince George’s County Department of the Environment as its Director. Joe will succeed former President, Mark Lister, who will return to his role as Vice-President. Aside from participating on the board’s presidential search committee to identify a successor, Mark’s tireless work has been instrumental in creating our strategic roadmap and winning restoration grants during his time as President.

SRA has also added two additional directors to its board, Carolyn Samuel Taylor, of Severna Park, and Hillary Langer, of Annapolis. Carolyn is a graduate of the University of Richmond and earned her PhD in marketing from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Carolyn is leading the SRA Board’s Communications and Outreach Committee. Hillary is a Director at Hannon Armstrong in Annapolis (NYSE:HASI) where she manages financing related to climate change solutions in energy efficiency, renewables and infrastructure. She is a graduate of Colby College and received her MBA from the University of Virginia.   

Finally, SRA is excited to welcome Don Boesch, former President of the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science (UMCES), as Scientific Advisor. Don completed his Ph.D. in biological oceanography at the College of William of Mary in Virginia. He has been involved in conducting or facilitating research on the Chesapeake Bay for over 35 years, and he has been an official advisor to federal agencies, the Chesapeake Bay Program, and five Maryland governors. Don will provide invaluable advice to SRA’s Executive Director, staff, and board on a range of issues varying from water quality assessments to restoration projects. 

Jeff Schomig, who currently chairs SRA’s Nominating and Governance Committees, noted the importance of this extraordinary influx of talent and experience to SRA. “The addition of Joe, Carolyn, Hillary, and Don, following our hiring Jesse Iliff as SRA’s Executive Director, delivers a caliber of leadership to SRA unmatched by many much larger conservation and restoration organizations. It’s almost an embarrassment of riches, the beneficiaries of which will be the River itself, along with all of us who live in the watershed and cherish our beloved Severn River.” Treasurer, Mike Davis, emphasized “These outstanding additions to our advisors and board demonstrate how serious we are about achieving a Thriving Severn River by 2050.”