Norman Bird Sanctuary Welcomes New Executive Director, Kaity Ryan

Middletown, RI, August 21, 2019–

The Norman Bird Sanctuary Board of Directors announced the appointment of Kaity Ryan as the organization’s new Executive Director. Beginning September 9th, Ryan will lead the nonprofit’s mission in wildlife habitat conservation and environmental education.

Kaity Ryan is a passionate preservation and conservation advocate. She brings extensive experience in nonprofit management to Norman Bird Sanctuary. Most recently, Ryan served as Deputy Chief of Staff for The Preservation Society of Newport County where she oversaw the organization’s policy and advocacy efforts for seven years.

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During that time, Ryan led the effort to improve the resiliency of one of Rhode Island’s most significant cultural landscapes, “Paradise Valley,” by raising $1.2 million to bury 1.5 miles of coastal utility lines adjacent to Second Beach in collaboration with several nonprofits, a private foundation, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and municipal leaders.

A certified architectural historian with a master’s degree in Historic Preservation from the Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation, Ryan has lectured widely on the intersection of historic preservation and conservation. In 2018, she was appointed by the Governor of Rhode Island to the Rhode Island Historical Preservation and Heritage Commission. She also serves on the Board of the Aquidneck Land Trust and the Town of Smithfield Zoning Board.

“This is an exciting time for Norman Bird Sanctuary. An incredible depth of long-range planning now guides every aspect of our work to protect this special place,” said Anne Howell, chair of the board. “Kaity’s background in operations management and conservation, and in her depth of knowledge about this particular landscape, makes her uniquely qualified to lead the organization forward. She literally wrote the book on Middletown’s Paradise Valley.”

“Norman Bird Sanctuary plays a critical role in the natural and cultural ecosystem of Aquidneck Island. I am honored and delighted to lead the organization as Executive Director alongside the dedicated staff team and Board of Directors,” said Ryan.

Ryan will take over for Interim Executive Director and Board member Patricia Galuska who has served in the role since the departure of Natasha Harrison in April.