Sierra Club names new Executive Director

The Sierra Club, the nation’s largest and oldest environmental advocacy group, has named Michael Brune to its top leadership role.

The Sierra Club, the nation’s largest and oldest environmental advocacy group, has named

Michael Brune to its top leadership role. Brune is a longtime environmental organizer who has headed the Rainforest Action Network for the last seven years.

“The Sierra Club has evolved in the last couple of decades from being an organization that

was almost exclusively focused on expanding protection for wild places to focusing more on

clean energy and climate change,” Brune said in a statement. “I’m coming to the Sierra Club

because I’m interested in both.”

Founded in 1892, the Sierra Club is lead by a board of elected officials, each assigned a

three-year term. The organization’s mission is to practice and promote responsible use of the

earth’s ecosystem and resources.

Spokesperson Orli Cotel told DailyVista that because Brune will carry the same responsibilities that a chief executive officer would at a corporation, he’ll be ultimately tasked with running day-to-day operations for the Sierra Club. In addition to daily leadership duties, he’ll also have a hand in the group’s marketing and branding efforts. Part of his job will be to represent Sierra Club to the media, and as such, he’ll be conducting interviews and will be the public face that will “influence the way people perceive our brand,” Cotel said.

“We have a very active presence on Facebook and we also have three, soon to be four with

Mike Brune, accounts on Twitter, we have SIERRA magazine,” Cotel said. “Twitter and

Facebook have played a big role in our strategy, and we’ve developed our own social

network at, which is a social network for people interested in

environmental issues and helping to stop global warming.”

Additionally, Sierra Club has created a social network called Sierra Club Trails for those

interested in hiking. Cotel said that it’s most likely the first and only hiking wiki, which allows

its users to update information in real time regarding weather and ground conditions for each

hiking trail on the site.

Like most consumers will ask for a Kleenex no matter what type of tissue is on hand, Sierra

Club becomes the default brand for the environmental movement, Cotel said, adding that the

organization represents the green industry, and covers a broad cross-section of the

American public.

“One of the great things is that we’re not targeted at one demographic, we’ve got the Sierra

Student Coalition
… and we have people who are moms that care about pollution and want to

keep their kids safe, we have an active presence in the Spanish-speaking community, so it’s

a pretty wide range – it spans all ages and ethnicities,” she said. “I think Michael, with his

experience in working with corporations, has definitely developed a keen awareness for the

importance of brand and branding, and will push us in the right direction.”

People are now starting to move past the stigma that going “green” is a more expensive

endeavor, and Sierra Club is doing its part to refute this common misconception. This is just

one challenge that the organization has overcome as of late.

SIERRA magazine, with a circulation of more than a million readers, is always interested in hearing from ad sellers and buyers with green products, and working with brands looking to reach outdoor enthusiasts and those interested in living “green.”

Portions of this release were taken from an article that originally appeared in the January 22, 2010 edition of DailyVista. It is reprinted with permission.


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