Jocelyn Forbush, Executive Vice President, has been named as the Acting President and CEO, The Trustees while Barbara J. Erickson takes a medical leave. Forbush has served the organization for more than 20 years in a range of positions which gives her both a depth of knowledge and an expansive view of the work. She began her career with the organization as a Land Conservation specialist and moved through various departments but always with a focus on growing the organization’s conservation work and external impact.
Barbara Erickson, who was named the organization’s fourth President in 2012 has been instrumental in phenomenal growth and success at The Trustees. In 2020, she experienced health issues that caused her to reduce her capacity as CEO. During that time, she has worked closely with Forbush to keep the goals and ambitions of the strategic plan Momentum moving forward even amidst the crises of the year.
Prior to serving on the executive team, as the Western Regional Director, Forbush pioneered the organization’s work in gateway cities and underserved populations, established the nationally supported Highland Communities Initiative that led to The Trustees’ affiliation with Hilltown Land Trust, and led acquisitions of iconic properties like Mount Warner and Land of Providence. In 2012, she was promoted to Vice President, Program Leadership, leading the mission-based work of The Trustees including land conservation, cultural resources, property stewardship, ecology, policy, and agriculture. In 2019, she was elevated to Executive Vice President, essentially becoming the deputy to the President. In this role, she carries responsibility for long-term strategy for key mission areas and for the implementation of The Trustees’ strategies through oversight of the Operations and Programs Department. Under her leadership, The Trustees’ has established its first five-year agricultural and coastal visions, a ten-year public gardens strategy, the Eliot Initiative (the organization’s priority conservation targets), expanded The Trustees’ archival and curatorial work, established a unique data-driven property stewardship approach, and launched Trustees One Waterfront Initiative in Boston.
Forbush is a formally trained ecologist and, prior to working with The Trustees, she worked for the Riverways Program of Mass Fisheries and Wildlife and the Quebec Labrador Foundation. She earned her Masters of Forest Science from the Yale School of Forestry, an MMus from McGill University, and a B.M. from Northwestern University.