Lesford Duncan Announced as New CEO

After completing a nationwide search, the Greening Youth Foundation Board of Directors is
pleased to announce the appointment of Mr. Lesford Duncan as the new Chief Executive Officer
of the Greening Youth Foundation (GYF). He will serve full-time in the capacity of CEO effective
Monday, August 29, 2022. Prior to accepting the role of CEO at the Greening Youth Foundation,
Mr. Duncan served as the Associate Executive Director for Outdoor Outreach, a flourishing San
Diego-based nonprofit that connects underrepresented youth to the transformative power of the
outdoors, as well as career and advocacy opportunities in conservation and environmental
education. Both Outdoor Outreach and the Greening Youth Foundation are member organizations
of the Outdoor Foundation’s Thrive Outside initiative working to address equity barriers in
making the outdoors accessible for all.
As Lesford joins the team as CEO, the Greening Youth Foundation, along with its Board of
Directors, would like to express immense gratitude, recognition and appreciation to Ms. Laurene
Hamilton for her steadfast leadership, diligence, and passion in guiding GYF as the Interim CEO
over the past 9 months. Laurene will continue to be an integral part of the GYF team as the Vice
President of Programs, continuing her efforts to build strong community and program
partnerships, and further the impact of the organization’s work.
Greening Youth Foundation Board Chairman Agai Jones shared, “On behalf of the Greening Youth
Foundation Family, welcome to the team Lesford! We are thrilled to have Lesford join our group
of dedicated and talented conservation professionals working to grow access for under-
represented communities. Based on Lesford's breadth and depth of experience, we are excited
about adding fresh leadership to an amazing team and laboring with him to achieve even greater
Lesford comes to the Greening Youth Foundation from a career background in public
management, with experience in both the nonprofit and government sectors.
He has worked most passionately in youth programs, advocacy for outdoor access and
environmental justice, youth leadership and career development, and behavioral health. Lesford
earned his Bachelors of Science degree in Biology from the University of Florida, and his Masters
of Public Health in Health Policy and Leadership from Loma Linda University. He also serves as a
board member of the Outdoor Foundation and a Senior Fellow with the Atlantic Fellows for Health
"The Greening Youth Foundation's recent appointment of Outdoor Foundation Board Member
Lesford Duncan to the role of CEO is wonderful news for GYF and our sector,” shared Stephanie
Maez, Executive Director of the Outdoor Foundation. “Lesford is a longtime champion for
equitable outdoor access. His critical leadership has helped the Outdoor Foundation and outdoor
industry engage in critical systemic change work in the areas of public land management and
addressing outdoor equity barriers prevalent in communities across the country. With Lesford at
the helm, the Greening Youth Foundation will continue to shine as one of the leading
organizations promoting diversity, equity and inclusion in the outdoor and environmental
As an outdoor enthusiast, ultramarathon runner, kayaker, and mountaineer, Lesford is motivated
to connect youth, and especially youth of color, to their own experiences of joy, belonging,
healing, and leadership in the outdoors.
“I’m excited and inspired to join the incredible team at Greening Youth Foundation in furthering
the mission, carefully crafted and developed by our founder Angelou Ezeilo, to engage under-
represented youth and young adults, while connecting them to the outdoors and careers in
conservation,” says Lesford. “Working together with our amazing partners and team, we will
continue to cultivate the next generation of diverse environmental leaders and stewards.”
The Greening Youth Foundation welcomes Lesford as our team continues to forge new
adventures and pathways for youth and young adults of color