Connecticut Land Conservation Conference

March 25, 2023, Wesleyan University, Middletown

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David Sutherland

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David Sutherland

Equity Trainer & Facilitator

David Sutherland brings his experience as a diversity and equity trainer to help organizations create a greater awareness of the ways in which certain behaviors and communication styles – often grounded in gender, racial, or other identities – can overtly or subtly diminish members of a team. He fosters a non-judgmental, occasionally uncomfortable, often fun climate in which people can examine their organization’s culture, openly share their own biases and presumptions, and explore new ways of talking and working with all of their colleagues and different communities.

As The Nature Conservancy’s (TNC) Director of Government Relations in Connecticut, David worked and negotiated with scores of elected officials, corporations, non-profit organizations, and agencies to craft policies affecting natural habitats, real estate law, water planning, utility rates, tax incentives, and public financing.

For the last eight of the 30 years he spent with TNC, David also served as a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion trainer and leader for the organization. He was the founding Co-Chair of TNC’s first State Chapter Diversity and Inclusion team, for the 35-staff member Connecticut Chapter. David co-facilitated three-day diversity workshops for TNC’s global Engaging Across Difference program; served as global co-lead of TNC’s Men as Allies gender equity initiative; and leads workshops on various diversity topics for the environmental community.

After moving to Cape Cod in March 2020, David transitioned out of his TNC career, into broader diversity work. He is a network partner with The Collective 180 consulting firm, working with their corporate and non-profit clients, such as Warner Media, Oxfam, and the Atlanta Botanical Gardens. David is also a DEI facilitator with Bentley University’s Center for Women and Business

Whether it is in the diversity and inclusion, public policy, or organizational administration context, David strives to create with others a climate in which difficult issues and discomfort can be addressed honestly, negotiations and decisions are transparent, and next steps are clear; all with a good dose of humor and mutual understanding.

David holds a B.A. from Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut, and a Master’s degree in Environmental Studies from Antioch University. He enjoys cycling, hiking, kayaking, playing guitar, and good conversation.