Lea Harvey Named AFT’s New Vice President of Development 

(Washington, D.C.) American Farmland Trust has named Lea Harvey as Vice President of Development to develop and implement its national donor strategy.  

“We are extremely excited and grateful for someone with Lea’s impressive background to generate donations for AFT’s critical work and programs,” said John Piotti, AFT President and CEO. “Lea is a master fundraiser and has dedicated her career to generate revenue for organizations, often under difficult economic conditions.”  

Across more than two decades, Harvey has led fundraising efforts, partnership development and team building for national and international organizations. As Director of Initiatives at Sweet Briar College, Harvey helped develop the college’s agenda and public platform around sustainable agriculture. She helped raise over $120 million to rebuild the college in the wake of a 2015 attempted closure and led strategies for major and principal gifts from foundation and individual donors. While at Resources for the Future, Harvey implemented strategies to double philanthropic support within two years (2008-09) at the onset of the Great Recession. 

Harvey’s experience in fundraising dates to 2002 when she served as the Director of Foundation and Corporate Relations with the World Wildlife Fund, where she led a $14 million foundation and corporate fundraising program. She earned her BA from Sweet Briar College where later in her career she returned to become Director of Strategic Initiatives.  

“There are not too many opportunities for which I would consider leaving my alma mater but AFT’s mission is so compelling and timely,” said Harvey. “It encompasses critical environmental, social and economic concerns. Joining AFT is a meaningful next step that builds upon my experience in agriculture at Sweet Briar and in fundraising throughout my career in the non-profit sector. I am deeply honored to join this revered organization and incredible team.”   


American Farmland Trust is the only national organization that takes a holistic approach to agriculture, focusing on the land itself, the agricultural practices used on that land, and the farmers and ranchers who do the work. AFT launched the conservation agriculture movement and continues to raise public awareness through our No Farms, No Food message. Since our founding in 1980, AFT has helped permanently protect over 6.8 million acres of agricultural lands, advanced environmentally-sound farming practices on millions of additional acres and supported thousands of farm families.