• People for Puget Sound
Today, Washington Conservation Voters and Washington Environmental Council announced that they have named Joan Crooks as CEO of the two organizations.

“Washington Conservation Voters wins elections and holds elected officials accountable. Washington Environmental Council pushes the right environmental policies forward,” said Rod Brown, Board Chair of Washington Conservation Voters. “Together we are a force to be reckoned with.”

The partnership between Washington Environmental Council and Washington Conservation Voters has built power for the environmental movement in Washington. Starting in 2001 with joint legislative work, the connections between the two organizations have increasingly deepened, while each organization pursues its unique mission.

“Washington state faces enormous environmental challenges: combatting climate change, restoring Puget Sound to health, and protecting our legacy as the Evergreen State,” said Jay Manning, Board Chair of Washington Environmental Council. “If we are smart, these challenges can be met with innovation, creating an economy built to last. But to make that happen we need strong environmental leadership. And that’s what we’re accomplishing here.”

Joan Crooks has led Washington Environmental Council for over twenty years. During her time as Executive Director, Joan has been instrumental in developing and leading the now nationally-recognized Environmental Priorities Coalition. This collaborative of over 20 groups has successfully advocated legislation on clean car standards, transitioning Washington’s only coal plant off coal, and secured significant funding for Puget Sound protection.

The past years have seen both organizations achieve landmark successes. Washington Conservation Voters was the first organization to endorse Jay Inslee and played a pivotal role electing him as Governor. In 2013, WCV elected an anti-coal majority to the Whatcom County Council, a victory that showed a community’s mandate against coal exports in the Pacific Northwest.

Washington Environmental Council plays a key role in the Power Past Coal coalition to prevent coal export through the Northwest, and recently led legislative efforts to secure state funding crucial to the recovery of Puget Sound and to protect communities against the risks of oil transport. WEC has an over 40 year history of environmental leadership; it was instrumental in passing (and now enforcing) the foundational laws that help keep Washington’s environment healthy: the State Environmental Policy Act, the State Superfund Law, the Growth Management Act, and the Shoreline Management Act.

“Over the past ten years, WCV and WEC have shown that when we work together, the environment wins,” said Joan Crooks, CEO of WCV and WEC. “I am excited to lead these two organizations in the next exciting chapter of our work.”

Becky Kelley will serve as president of Washington Environmental Council, and WCV will begin the hiring process for the newly created role of WCV President.