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WildEarth Guardians welcomes Hop Hopkins as new Executive Director

March 5, 2024
Hannah Smay, Communications Manager, hsmay@wildearthguardians.org, (208) 450-1915
In This Release
Climate + Energy, Public Lands, Rivers, Wildlife  
#ForceForNature, #PressStatement
SANTA FE, N.M. — Following a national search, the Board of Directors of WildEarth Guardians is delighted to welcome Hop Hopkins as the organization’s next Executive Director. The Board, led by Betsy Gaines Quammen, unanimously confirmed the selection of Hopkins for this leadership position as part of a planned succession.

“WildEarth Guardians is an outstanding institution with passionate members, strategic thinkers, and programs designed to catalyze systemic change in environmental and climate policies at the state and federal levels in the Western U.S.” said Hop Hopkins, new Executive Director. “It is an honor to be joining this team of hard-charging passionate professionals at this critical juncture in our planet’s history. Guardians is well suited to play a pivotal role in building a more just and regenerative thriving future for people and the planet.”

“We are thrilled to have Hop on board as Executive Director,” said Betsy Gaines Quammen, WildEarth Guardians’ board president. “For 35 years, WildEarth Guardians has been a fierce protector of wild species and human communities affected by development, extractive industries, pollution, and deregulation. Hop brings years of experience working in the conservation movement, and speaking for the vulnerable and voiceless across the West. He will be an inspiring leader and partner for Guardians to shepherd us into the future.”

In his role as Executive Director, Hop will provide strategic leadership and operational oversight for the organization, furthering the mission to protect and restore the wildlife, wild places, wild rivers, and health of the American West.  

With a deep personal commitment to conservation and advocacy, Hopkins has over 25 years of experience working in alignment with Guardians’ mission and values. Most recently, Hopkins was the National Director of Organizational Transformation at the Sierra Club, which exists to practice and promote the responsible use of the earth’s ecosystems and resources, and to educate and enlist humanity to protect and restore the quality of the natural and human environment. Hop has also managed LA River Keepers and started an outdoor education school for children and families.

You can read more about Hop and his commitment to WildEarth Guardians here.

Other leaders heralded Hopkins’ new leadership:

“I am thrilled to hear Hop Hopkins will be joining WildEarth Guardians as Executive Director. Hop is a transformative leader, deeply principled with a talent for connecting people, building just relationships, and collaboratively designing equitable solutions, even in the most difficult situations. What I valued most about Hop’s leadership at Sierra Club was that we worked with him, not just across the table from him. He brought humanity and respect to the Sierra Club/PWU Labor Management Committee space and the CBA negotiations table. He believes in the mission, he believes in his colleagues, and he understands we can’t achieve our goals at the expense of workers or our shared values. We need more leaders like Hop.” 

  • CJ Garcia-Linz, President, Progressive Workers Union

“As a huge fan of WildEarth Guardians, I am thrilled with their selection of Hop Hopkins as their new Executive Director. Hop is a strategic leader whose passion for beautiful wild places and his commitment to justice makes him a great fit for Guardians, and I can’t wait to see what Guardians achieves under his leadership” 

  • Jennifer Krill, Executive Director of Earthworks

“WildEarth Guardians plays a vital role in the movement to protect Mother Earth. Hop Hopkins as the new Executive Director is the right choice in these complicated political times. He has a strategic and, in many ways, an Indigenous understanding of our ancestral responsibilities to learn from the natural world. He sees the long arc of how we will grow a majority movement rooted in values prioritizing unity in action and authentic relationships with Native communities and Tribal nations. We look forward to standing with WildEarth Guardians under Hop’s guidance as we navigate the challenging years ahead.” 

  • Judith LeBlanc, Citizen of the Caddo Nation, Executive Director, Native Organizers Alliance

“I am excited to see that Hop, someone I have worked with for years at the national level on environmental, natural resources, and conservation issues, will be taking the helm of the WildEarth Guardians. Hop has worked to build solidarity through collaborative partnerships that amplify the voices of others and make more space at the table. I can’t wait to see what the Guardians can achieve for the West under his dedicated and strategic leadership!”

  • Mark Magaña, Founding President & CEO of GreenLatinos

“It gives me great pleasure to congratulate Hop Hopkins in becoming WildEarth Guardians’ new Executive Director. For decades, Hop has been a strategic, principled, and committed leader in our movement for social and environmental justice. I have no doubt that Wildearth Guardians, as well as the conservation movement, will benefit from Hop’s experience and expertise.”

  • Byron Ramos Gudiel, Executive Director, Center for Earth Energy and Democracy 

Members of WildEarth Workers, the staff union at WildEarth Guardians, also expressed support for Hopkins’ arrival and have welcomed him to the organization.  

Hopkins succeeds former Executive Director John Horning, who worked for WildEarth Guardians for three decades. The Board thanks John Horning for providing passionate and effective leadership to Guardians, which resulted in significant protections for American public lands and wildlife. WildEarth Guardians is deeply appreciative of his dedication and the significant legacy of achievement and service he has modeled for conservationists across America.  

Read Hop’s first blog for WildEarth Guardians here