The Environmental Defense Center announced Monday that it has hired Owen Bailey, an experienced community organizer, fundraiser, educator and environmental advocate, as its new executive director, effective Jan. 1.
Bailey joins EDC after nearly a decade at the Sierra Club, first specializing in community and media outreach and grassroots organizing for the club’s Coastal Program, and later as a liaison to the entertainment industry and a manager of major donor identification, cultivation and solicitation in seven Western states. He also held staff positions on the senatorial campaigns of Barbara Boxer and Ned Lamont.
“Owen brings us a variety of critically important skills,” said Peter Schuyler, board president for the EDC. “He has spent his entire career at the intersection of environmental advocacy, community outreach and organizing, politics and fundraising. These are exactly the qualities we were seeking in a new executive director. Our entire community is fortunate to have attracted such a high quality leader.”
“I am excited, honored and a little humbled to have this opportunity to serve as EDC’s executive director,” Bailey said. “I have worked with EDC in the past and know their well-deserved reputation, and their impressive history of success protecting this region’s air and water quality, open space and coastal environment. I can’t wait to get to work — helping EDC’s terrific staff and dedicated Board of Directors to build upon that legacy.”
Linda Krop, chief counsel at EDC, said, “I’ve worked closely with Owen and know his ability to inspire and raise awareness about important environmental issues. He is the right person to build upon David Landecker’s successes, engaging supporters for our work and providing leadership in EDC’s advocacy for the local environment.”
For more than 35 years, the EDC has been serving California’s Central Coast as the only nonprofit environmental law firm between Los Angeles and San Francisco, assisting environmental and community groups in their efforts to protect environmental quality. The EDC’s full-time staff of 10 includes four lawyers, two environmental analysts and a planner. The EDC is completely funded through private donations and receives no government assistance.
— Betsy Weber is the communications director for the Environmental Defense Center.