Ellena Ochoa

A recent arrival to DC from California, Ellena's work centers around facilitating connection between communities and the stewardship of natural spaces. Her professional experience in this realm began as Project Manager responsible for a new Conservation Easement program to save farmland in the Bay Area of Northern California. This formative experience was the beginning of a professional re-direct resulting in 15+ years of nonprofit work in land conservation, urban greening, and community engagement.

Much of Ellena's experience has been focused on running projects from concept through implementation both in the field and at a programmatic level. She helped found community gardens in Portland, Oregon and San Francisco, both of which required thinking "outside the box" to create sustainable, healthy growing space for urban residents in redevelopment areas. At a larger scale, Ellena has worked in partnership with private landowners and public land managers to preserve and restore natural areas with unique conservation and cultural values.

Prior to joining UER's Board of Directors, Ellena has been involved with the organization in the development of a framework to evaluate potential Eco-Functioning Spaces. Ellena's professional background before entering the nonprofit field was in international economics, financial services, and technology software. Outside of work her passions are family, gardening, and travel.