The Virginia Natural Resources Leadership Institute (VNRLI) announced John Tippett, recently retired Executive Director of the Friends of the Rappahannock (FOR), as the recipient of the 2014 Gerald P. McCarthy Award for Leadership in Environmental Conflict Resolution. The VNRLI presents the annual McCarthy award to an individual who demonstrates leadership in preserving and protecting the Commonwealth’s environment through collaboration.
Tippett is regarded as an influential leader who has collaborated with diverse stakeholders to effect positive change throughout the Rappahannock River watershed. In his role with FOR Tippett successfully led a 10-year advocacy campaign that resulted in the removal of the non-functional Embrey Dam, and engaged key stakeholders to ensure that 4,232 acres of land surrounding the Rappahannock and Rapidan rivers would be placed into an easement, permanently protecting the local water supply and preserving wilderness in a developed region. Additionally, Tippett initiated collaboration with local government to promote low-impact development, and played a key role in designing the state stormwater regulations. Jennifer Allen, who worked with Tippett at FOR, says “John became my role model on how to engage diverse stakeholders to constructively resolve environmental issues and how to develop innovative and compelling approaches to complex challenges.” In recognition of a career that exemplifies the use of collaboration and conflict resolution, John Tippett is the recipient of the 2014 McCarthy Award.
The Virginia Natural Resources Leadership Institute (VNRLI) is a partnership program between the UVa Institute for Environmental Negotiation, Virginia Cooperative Extension at Virginia Tech, Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, and Virginia Department of Forestry. VNRLI’s mission is to develop leaders throughout Virginia who can help groups involved in contentious natural resources issues move beyond conflict toward consensus building and collaborative problem solving. IEN created the Gerald P. McCarthy Award for Leadership in Environmental Conflict Resolution in 2004 to honor McCarthy, its first recipient, for his visionary contributions to promote environmental conflict resolution in Virginia.