Institute for Environmental Negotiation

Empowering communities to create shared solutions

McKay Announced as 2017 McCarthy Award Recipient

The Institute for Environmental Negotiation (IEN) at the University of Virginia is pleased to announce that Laura McKay, Manager of the Coastal Zone Management (CZM) Program with the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, is the recipient of the 2017 Gerald P. McCarthy Award for Leadership in Environmental Conflict Resolution. The McCarthy Award is presented annually to an individual who demonstrates leadership in preserving and protecting the Commonwealth's environment through collaboration. The award will be presented to Laura on Thursday June 15th in Charlottesville.

For over 20 years, Laura has managed the network of state agencies and planning district commissions that comprise the Virginia Coastal Policy Team. Lewis Lawrence, Executive Director of the Middle Peninsula Planning District Commission and Coastal Policy Team member, says that the success of the Virginia program is due in large part to Laura’s leadership in building partnerships and creating a management culture that is effective, productive, creative, proactive, and reliable.

Throughout her career Laura has excelled at using collaboration to affect positive changes for Virginia’s natural resources. She is a founding member and current chair of the Mid-Atlantic Regional Council on the Ocean (MARCO), and a Virginia representative on the Mid-Atlantic Regional Planning Body. Previously she developed and led Virginia’s Oyster and Seaside Heritage Programs to promote ecotourism and sustainable shellfish aquaculture in coastal Virginia. Laura also initiated the Eastern Shore Birding and Wildlife Festival to promote responsible land use, and healthy ecosystems and economies.

In recognition of a career that exemplifies the use of collaboration and conflict resolution, Laura McKay is the recipient of the 2017 McCarthy Award.

Photo courtesy of the Virginia CZM Program