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Catalina Island Conservancy Welcomes Kirsten Peterson Johansen as Chief of External Affairs


Catalina Island Conservancy announced that Kirsten Peterson Johansen joined the Catalina Island Conservancy as Chief of External Affairs, effective October 10, 2023.  In this role, Johansen will be responsible for leading development, membership, marketing, communications, campaigns, and special events.

Working closely with President and CEO Whitney Latorre and the executive team, Johansen will lead and inspire an integrated team, engage with devoted, generous board members, and partner with scientists and educators.

“We are very excited to welcome Kirsten to the Catalina Island Conservancy team,” said Latorre.  “Her fundraising track record and experience working with notable conservation, cultural and educational institutions, and nonprofits are tremendous assets for the Conservancy. We look forward to her leadership, collaborative spirit, and development expertise as the Conservancy enters a new, important phase increasing visibility, reaching new audiences, and expanding its public and private financial support.”

Johansen brings more than 25 years of experience to this role at Catalina Island Conservancy.  She most recently served as Assistant Dean of the USC School of Architecture, for Advancement, where from February 2018 to October 2023 she strategically led a team, stewarded two dynamic voluntary boards, and engaged thousands of alumni, donors, prospects, partners, parents, corporate and foundation funders, locally, nationally, and globally. Prior, Johansen held leadership roles at the Phoenix Art Museum, National Park Foundation (philanthropic arm of the National Park Service), Smithsonian Institution, and the National Trust for Historic Preservation.   Originally from Lake Tahoe, Johansen received her Bachelor of Arts Degree from Pepperdine University and a Master’s Degree in Public Policy from the University of Southern California.

“I am honored and humbled to be joining the Catalina Island Conservancy at this dynamic moment in its long, distinguished history, in my native state of California, and working at the intersections of conservation, education, and recreation,” said Johansen. “This is a unique opportunity for me to continue my work with scientists, educators, and conservationists, philanthropists, and civic and foundation leaders in designing and funding sustainable solutions for island restoration.”



Welcome Kirsten Peterson Johansen to Catalina Island Conservancy!