Greenpeace UK executive director to step down

Greenpeace UK executive director John Sauven, who joined the charity in 1991, is to step down next month.

After a stint leading the charity’s communications, he was later promoted to executive director in 2007, where he led campaigns around a third runway at Heathrow and a number of fossil fuel issues, including drilling in the Arctic.

Also during his leadership, he “steered the organisation through one of the most difficult times in its history”, according to the charity, when Greenpeace activists were arrested by Russian security forces in the Arctic and imprisoned for more than two months.

Sauven is stepping down in February and stay on as an advisor until the end of March/

He is being replaced by interim executive director Pat Venditti, who has led the charity’s campaigning for the last seven years.

“It’s hard to express just how lucky I feel for having had the opportunity to lead an organisation like Greenpeace for the last 14 years,” said Sauven.

“The climate and nature crisis is the biggest challenge humanity is facing, and being able to make a contribution towards tackling it has been a huge privilege.

“Over the last few years, we have won many crucial campaigns, but there’s an awful lot more work that remains to be done. This is why I’m glad to be handing over the baton to Pat, an experienced manager and leader who has overseen the incredible campaign work of the last few years.”

After his departure Sauven plans to continue supporting the charity as a volunteer and activist alongside his work with NANN-K Trust, a charity he set up with the musician Baab Maal. To tackle desertification in the Sahel region of Africa.

Venditti added: “It’s an honour to be asked to lead an organisation like Greenpeace UK during this transition phase, and I’m very grateful to John and the board for this opportunity.

“This is going to be another crucial year for global efforts to avoid a climate catastrophe and the collapse of nature, and Greenpeace UK is ready to play its part.”

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