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June 1, 2019

Friends of Rappahannock director grew up at Orlean

Contributed Photo
A 1994 Fauquier High graduate, Daria Blom Christian taught in Stafford, Seattle and China before joining the Friends of the Rappahannock.
I love what I do. I get up in the morning and know I’m doing something good for the world.
— Daria Christian, Friends of the Rappahannock executive director
Daria Blom Christian
• Age: 43

• Home: Near Richmond

• Work: Executive director, Friends of the Rappahannock, Fredericksburg, May 21-present; interim executive director, Friends of the Rappahannock River, February-May 21; assistant director, Friends of the Rappahannock River, 2014-February; education director, Friends of the Rappahannock River, 2010-May 21, 2019

• Education: Master’s degree, education, University of Mary Washington, 2003; bachelor’s degree, environmental studies, Virginia Commonwealth University, 2000; Fauquier High School, 1994.

• Family: Husband, Zac; sons, Silas, 6, and Luca, 2.

• Hobbies: Camping, hiking and running.
By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Staff Journalist
A former Fauquier resident has earned promotion to executive director of the Fredericksburg organization dedicated to preserving and enhancing the health and beauty of the Rappahannock River.

Daria Christian’s appointment to head Friends of the Rappahannock took effect Tuesday, May 21.

Ms. Christian succeeds Kathleen Harrigan, who held the top job for about five years.

Prior to her permanent appointment to the position, Ms. Christian served as FOR’s interim executive director for about three months.

“It has been my pleasure as a member of the Executive Committee at FOR during the last four years to work with Daria and witness her passion for educating others about the river,” organization Chairman Sam Foltz said in a press release. “Her drive and devotion for protecting this amazing natural resource is evident in her work, and I am very excited to see what unfolds next with Daria at the helm.”

As executive director, Ms. Christian oversees a budget of $919,250 and a staff of eight full- and seven part-time employees.

“I love what I do,” she said of the job. “I get up in the morning and know I’m doing something good for the world. The people I work with are amazing. They’re so dedicated. . . . I’ll be working with them to make their programs the best they can be.”

Ms. Christian, 43, described FOR as “the voice and active force for a healthy and scenic” Rappahannock River.

The 2,000-member organization pursues that mission through advocacy, education and restoration projects, she added.

Established in 1985, nonprofit serves parts of 18 counties, including Fauquier, that lie within the Rappahannock River watershed.

The Rappahannock starts at Chester Gap — where Fauquier, Rappahannock and Warrenton counties meet — and flows 195 east to the Chesapeake Bay.

Ms. Christian joined FOR in 2010 as its education director. During the next nine years, she also served as assistant director and interim director before last week’s appointment to lead the organization.

Growing up near Orlean, she graduated from Fauquier High School in 1994 and earned a bachelor’s degree in environmental science from Virginia Commonwealth University.

After getting a master’s degree in education from the University of Mary Washington in 2003, Ms. Christian for the next seven years work as a teacher in Stafford County and Seattle and taught English in China.

She and her husband and their two young sons live near Richmond.

Contact Don Del Rosso at Don@FauquierNow.com or 540-270-0300. 
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