Photo of Dawn Chávez, showing a woman with mid-length brown hair wearing a white shirt and denim jacket. She smiles broadly, standing in front of green trees and water running over large stones.s

Dawn Chávez

Executive Director


Dawn Chávez (she/her/ella) brings more than 25 years of leadership experience in nonprofit management in the environmental field to the role of Executive Director of ELP. Born and raised in the Bronx in New York City, Dawn has lived and worked across the country in many different communities, from wilderness outposts to small towns to large urban centers. From 2003 to 2015, Dawn worked in Boston as the director of the Boston Youth Environmental Network and education director of the Urban Ecology Institute. As Executive Director of Asheville GreenWorks, Dawn led the 50-year-old nonprofit through significant growth and development. She has served on the boards of statewide and national nonprofit organizations, including the North Carolina Center for Nonprofits, Conservation Trust of North Carolina, and the North American Association for Environmental Education. Dawn is a 2006 Senior Fellow of ELP's Eastern Regional Fellowship program (ERN's very first year!) and she joined the organization's staff in June, 2023.

In her free time, Dawn enjoys hiking and camping in the mountains around Asheville with her husband, two children, and family dogs.