Tida Leagnavar has spent the last several years devoted to advancing environmental movements through conservation, restoration, and education. Prior to her selection as a National Urban Fellow, Tida worked as a Wildlife Biologist with an environmental consulting firm in San Francisco where she led biological assessments and managed restoration projects. By working at the nexus of private interests and government regulations, she has coalesced differences and turned them into workable solutions.

Tida also worked with the non-profit Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy, where she furthered the positive impacts that community-based projects make on people’s connection with their environment. She is a highly skilled, adaptable individual, having also worked internationally on several short-term projects in Asia and New Zealand and earned an Asian Fisheries Society Merit Award. 

Tida graduated with honors from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with a Bachelor’s in Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences.  After building a strong science foundation, she joined the National Urban Fellows to segue into impacting public administration and policy through evidence-based approaches. She is also hoping to galvanize the close ties that environmental conservation has with topics in social justice, community health, and sustainable development to make the greatest collective impact for a high quality of life for all.

During her NUF mentorship at the Houston Department of Health & Human Services, Tida served as the Special Assistant to the Director. In this role, she worked on several initiatives spearheaded by the Department. With the municipal launch of My Brother’s Keeper, the Department is leading the coalition-building efforts to develop a local action plan; she led the marketing group and coordinated the policy review. She also supported the operations of a local, multi-partner collaborative that assists the community to enroll in the Affordable Care Act Marketplace. Overall, Tida used the experience to diversify her skills and strengthen her voice to make her a better-rounded, more effective leader and role model for the future of environmental health.