Nissa Dean

Nissa Dean

Nissa Dean

Virginia State Director

Virginia Office


(804) 775 0952

Nissa Dean is the state director for the Alliance’s VA office and has worked on Chesapeake Bay issues for the past 20 years, including everything from fish sampling and underwater grass restoration to green infrastructure projects and tree plantings. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Environmental Studies from Virginia Commonwealth University’s Center for Environmental Studies. Nissa’s passion for the protecting the environment began at an early age, as she spent a lot of her youth playing in the James, Rappahannock, and Potomac rivers and hiking in the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Nissa came back to the Alliance in March of 2012 as the Virginia State Director. She began her career as an intern at the Alliance and quickly transitioned into a full-time employee in 2000, providing training in water quality monitoring, SAV and fish population sampling, coordinating restoration projects, and helping with the Susquehanna, Patuxent, and James River sojourns. In 2002 she left the Alliance to work for the Department of Conservation and Recreation, where she worked on developing Virginia’s Chesapeake Bay clean water plans and worked with localities and Soil and Water Conservation Districts on urban and agricultural best management practice implementation and watershed management. She is a 2010 graduate of the Virginia Natural Resources Leadership Institute, and received the 2011 “Creative Scenic Enhancement Award” from Scenic Virginia for the “Greening Virginia’s Capitol” project. In 2015 she was appointed by Governor McAuliffe to serve on the VA Department of Environmental Quality’s State Water Control Board for a four-year term, providing oversite on the agency’s water permitting programs. Nissa completed The Community Foundations Emerging Nonprofit Leaders Program (ENLP) in 2018, and currently supports the newly-founded ENLP Alumni Association.

She is currently working with the City of Richmond and RVA H2O on a green infrastructure master plan for three priority watersheds in the city. As a result of this work, Nissa was asked to serve on City of Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney’s “Green Team”, working to identify ten parcels of public lands to conserve as park land. Nissa is a proud mother of two teenagers and enjoys hiking, fly-fishing, and camping, and generally anything that gets her outside and on/near a body of water.