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Sierra Club names its new leader

By Juliet Eilperin

The Sierra Club will have a new leader, its board of directors announced Wednesday: Michael Brune, who has spent the last seven years as the Rainforest Action Network's executive director.

The move signals the end of Carl Pope's 18-year reign as head of the large and influential grassroots environmental group. Pope told the organization a year ago he wanted to "pass on the green torch," according to the board of directors' president Allison Chin, and so it embarked on a year-long search for a new standard bearer.

Brune, a 38-year old native of Chadwick Beach, N.J., started as an organizer for Greenpeace and has spent years working on issues including illegal logging and global warming. He took part in last year's demonstration to shut down the Capitol Power Plant, and has pressured companies including Home Depot and Kinko's to change their business practices.

Chin said in an interview the group was looking "for somebody that would be talented, gifted, an inspiring leader for the organization," and found in Brune "really innovative thinking and bold leadership... A hard nosed activist with a twist."

In a statement, Brune said he looked forward to taking the helm of the 118-year old group founded by American conservationist John Muir. "The grassroots volunteers and staff of the Sierra Club have won some of the country's most significant environmental battles" Brune said. "I believe the Sierra Club's best work lies ahead, and I'm excited to be a part of it."

For a good profile of Brune, click here.


Juliet Eilperin

 |  January 20, 2010; 11:44 AM ET Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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One more eco elitist who thinks he's better and smarter than the rest of us.

Posted by: FLvet | January 20, 2010 2:52 PM
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Sierra has a disciplined core and does a fair job in empowering its grassroots volunteers. It faces the tough situation of being an "umbrella" organization, in that people of all views on enviro topics expect it to follow their interest. So internal controversies erupt on alternative energy (wind, nuclear) and population and so on. Overall, the Club is quite effective at what it does, when core staff are involved. Sometimes the vol led parts (Chapters, groups) are effective, as much as any other civic group, in getting their message heard and supported by decision makers.

I look forward to new, tough leadership under Brune and Chin.

Posted by: Towards_Light | January 20, 2010 1:57 PM
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mike brune. one more name to write down and remember. probably the leader of elf. one more wack-job to keep an eye on.

Posted by: 12thgenamerican | January 20, 2010 12:01 PM
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