Rainforest Action Network Appoints First Woman Leader

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Tuesday, August 3, 2010

­San Francisco – Rainforest Action Network (RAN), one of the nation’s leading environmental action organizations, has named Rebecca Tarbotton as its executive director. As the first woman to head the organization, Tarbotton joins an exclusive club of women leaders in the environmental sector. Taking over the organization in its 25th year, Tarbotton is set to lead RAN as it confronts some of the country’s greatest environmental challenges: from climate change and energy use to habitat and biodiversity loss.

“From West Virginia communities resisting mountaintop removal mining to Indigenous groups in Sumatra trying to keep their rainforests standing, people around the globe are seeing the impacts of unchecked corporate power on their environment,” said Tarbotton. “For the past 25 years, RAN has convinced some of America’s largest corporations to value people not just profits. I’m honored to continue this legacy of fearless action as we work to protect rainforests, keep fossil fuels in the ground, and stop climate change.”

Tarbotton, 37, succeeds Michael Brune, now head of the Sierra Club. As she has been with the organization for three years, the choice represents both a new page for RAN and a continuation of the group’s legacy of success.

Tarbotton is used to taking on tough problems and winning – regularly standing down CEOs from Bank of America’s Ken Lewis to Citigroup’s Vikram Pandit. Under her leadership as Global Finance Campaign Director, RAN secured a sector wide policy to limit bank financing of coal-fired power plants. Prior to RAN, Rebecca worked as an international food and human rights activist, both in California and abroad, giving her a deep understanding of current global environmental challenges from international agribusiness to climate change.

“I’m thrilled that someone with Rebecca’s passion and skill is stepping up to lead RAN,” said Randy Hayes, RAN’s founder and first executive director. “The world may have changed in many ways since 1985, but the basic need to prevent corporations from destroying the world’s last rainforests remains as critical as ever.”

Called everything from “a mosquito in the tent” by Fortune Magazine to a “force to be reckoned with” by Canada’s McLean’s Magazine, Rainforest Action Network is one of the few national organizations to focus on the intersections between corporate greed, fossil fuel dependence, forest destruction and climate change. From its founding in 1985, the organization has always hit above its weight class, successfully convincing Burger King to stop sourcing rainforest beef after a national campaign that put rainforests on the map. RAN followed up with a campaign to make the use of old growth wood for lumber unacceptable on the shelves of the nation’s largest home improvement stores, wresting commitments from Home Depot, Lowes and FedEx Kinkos. Staffed by almost 40 people, with satellite offices in Canada and Japan, RAN is tackling some of the nation’s largest and least trusted corporations, including Cargill, Chevron and J.P. Morgan Chase.

For a full biography, photos, blog and video links and other press information, please go to: http://ran.org/ed or at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Rebecca-Tarbotton/147667455249428

Interviews with Rebecca Tarbotton can be scheduled on request.


Rainforest Action Network campaigns to break North America’s oil and coal addictions, protect endangered forests and Indigenous rights, and stop destructive investments around the world through education, grassroots organizing, and nonviolent direct action. For more information, please visit: www.ran.org


Rainforest Action Network runs hard-hitting campaigns to break North America’s fossil fuels addiction, protect endangered forests and Indigenous rights, and stop destructive investments around the world through education, grassroots organizing, and non-violent direct action. For more information, please visit: www.ran.org