For three years, the nation’s most prominent environmental organization has been ruminating about its past and future. Like many other American institutions, the Sierra Club was convulsed by the 2020 murder of George Floyd, beset by painful questions about its mission and history, including whether its founder, John Muir, was biased against people of color.
Now, the organization is trying to emerge from the other side of that appraisal. It has named Ben Jealous, a civil rights activist, author, investor and nonprofit leader as its new executive director.
Mr. Jealous, 50, chief executive of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People from 2008 to 2013, is the first person of color to lead the Sierra Club.
With more than $149 million in annual contributions, hundreds of employees, more than a million members and supporters, and 64 chapters around the country, the Sierra Club is the giant sequoia of the conservation movement