Karin Wyman-Vardaman selected as new executive director for Laguna Canyon Foundation


The Laguna Canyon Foundation, a local nonprofit dedicated to preserving and protecting the 22,000-acre open space surrounding Laguna Beach, has named Karin Wyman-Vardaman as its new executive director.

Laguna Beach native Karin Wyman-Vardaman has stepped into Laguna Canyon Foundation’s new executive director role. Photo courtesy of the Laguna Canyon Foundation

“After an extensive search process, we are thrilled to have found our next leader,” said Michelle Kremer, board president for Laguna Canyon Foundation. “Her deep connection to the region, along with her broad conservation background, makes Karin an ideal fit to further advance the mission of our organization.”

For more than 35 years, Vardaman, a Laguna Beach native, has been involved with nonprofit leadership, environmental education and field conservation experience. Her background includes serving as Pacific Marine Mammal Center’s (formally Friends of the Sea Lions) Director of Animal Care and Operations in the 1980s and senior director at the Ocean Institute for nearly two decades.

“I’m deeply honored to serve Laguna Canyon Foundation’s most meaningful mission and give back to the treasured open spaces that gave me so much joy as a youth growing up in Laguna Beach,” Vardaman said.

In 2021, Vardaman was listed as one of “Forbes 50 over 50 Women Making an Impact” for her game-changing work in wild wolf conservation and coexistence through the nonprofit Working Circle, which she founded in 2016.

Wyman-Vardaman’s start date was Dec. 11, 2023.

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