Insights into nonprofit leadership & governance

Ben Jealous named Executive Director of Sierra Club

November 15, 2022  

BoardWalk Consulting is pleased to congratulate Ben Jealous on his new role as Executive Director of Sierra Club, effective January 23, 2023.

In a career that has spanned from organizer to social impact investor in green technology, Jealous has been president of People for the American Way since 2020 and was the youngest person to serve as president and CEO of the NAACP from 2008 to 2013. The NAACP launched its climate justice program under Jealous’ leadership and in 2012 issued its report Coal Blooded: Putting Profits before People, which assessed the impact of the nation’s 378 coal-fired power plants on communities of color and low-income communities. It was an extension of work Jealous began as an investigative reporter for the Jackson Advocate exposing “cancer clusters” in Mississippi’s rural communities caused by industrial pollution.

“In this existential moment in history, when planetary preservation is a human rights issue, we all need to consider pivots in our lives. Too many leaders still think that we can only create a growing economy if we sacrifice people, the wild, and even the planet itself. This flawed ‘either/or’ mindset–with its roots deep in our nation’s history of colonialism–has led our planet to the brink,” Sierra Club Executive Director Ben Jealous said. “We now know better. We can both create more good jobs for communities that have suffered for too long and build a healthier, more sustainable future for everyone.”

The selection of the Sierra Club’s executive director comes at an important time for the 130-year-old, volunteer-led organization, and the environmental movement overall.

You can find the full statement here.

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