Kirste Kowalsky

arizona field representative, Conservation Acquisition


Todd McNewKirste is the Fund’s Arizona Field Representative, a position which is focused on partnerships with local, state, and federal agency representatives, congressional delegation members, corporations, non-profit organizations, land trusts and key individuals to further land conservation programs including Mitigation Solutions and Strategic Conservation Planning. She is responsible for leading efforts to acquire and preserve priority natural resources, open space areas, and cultural and historic lands while developing and maintaining new partnership and fundraising relations to support those efforts.

Kirste joined the Fund in 2020. With over 18 years of experience in land use, real estate and public involvement, she has strived to incorporate long-term policies focused on sustainability along with balancing economic development, environmental quality, transportation and community needs. An Arizona native, Kirste spent much of her career as a real-estate and zoning planning consultant specializing in land use entitlements and project management, overseeing and negotiating conditions of support for development changes that balance economic growth, open space goals, community revitalization, drought requirements and nature preservation.

Prior to joining the Fund, she worked for prominent zoning and real estate law firms, Withey Morris, PLC and Earl & Curley, representing a full spectrum of property owners, education institutions, developers, investors and lenders. During her time with the City of Phoenix Planning and Development Department, Kirste gained valuable knowledge and customer experience from guiding individuals through the site plan and utility permitting approval process. Her deep-rooted understanding of local government relations and adopted requirements complements her experience influencing strategic decisions.

Kirste has established a dependable reputation with the development community at large, planning staff, community leaders, and appointed officials throughout Arizona. Kirste holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the University of Arizona.

Contact: kkowalsky@conservationfund.org   Phone: (480) 332-3012   Office: Phoenix, Arizona