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The Conservation Alliance announces new executive director

Brady Robinson, a conservationist, climber, and educator, was tapped as The Conservation Alliance's new executive director.

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Starting Nov. 1, Brady Robinson will take the helm from outgoing executive director, John Sterling, to lead The Conservation Alliance.

Robinson was most recently the director of strategy and development for Tompkins Conservation, creating terrestrial and marine national parks in Chile and Argentina. Before that, he led the Access Fund for 11 years.

“I am incredibly honored and excited to have the opportunity to help lead this organization,” Robinson said in the announcement. “With a crystal clear mission, 30-year history and healthy financial foundation, The Conservation Alliance is perfectly positioned to grow and play an even greater role in protecting wild places.”

Robinson joins the organization after a nine-month search led by Conservation Alliance board member Tracy Brunz, divisional vice president of merchandising initiatives and operations at REI.

He will replace Sterling, who is leaving after serving with the organization since 1996. During his long tenure, Sterling oversaw the organization’s sustained growth in membership and grant-making, launched an endowment campaign called the Legacy Fund, and helped create the Public Lands Defense Fund, among other achievements.

“The board recognized early on that finding the right individual to lead The Conservation Alliance would be some of the most important work we would do as a team,” Brunz said. “We remained patient, focused and intentional in seeking a leader who would meet our aspirations and engaged with an impressive array of candidates. Throughout the process, Brady stood out in meeting all of our expectations and I couldn’t be more thrilled to have him joining The Conservation Alliance as our new Executive Director.”

Brady grew up in rural Minnesota, where childhood trips to the Boundary Waters Canoe Wilderness Area sparked a lifelong love of wilderness and the outdoors. He is a lifelong climber and alpinist, with many international expeditions and first ascents in the mountains of Patagonia and Pakistan.

“We are thrilled to welcome our new Executive Director, Brady Robinson, who truly embodies that spirit: a perfect combination of love for the outdoors and deep experience mobilizing and supporting others to fight for the places we care so deeply about,” said Hans Cole, director of environmental campaigns and advocacy at Patagonia.

Robinson will participate in the organization’s three-year strategic planning retreat from Nov. 18 to 20 to identify long-term intentions.