Explore, enjoy and protect the planet

Michael Brune

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Sierra Club Executive Director

Like many environmental activists, Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune first decided to pitch in and protect the planet for selfish reasons.

"I grew up in Chadwick Beach, on the New Jersey shore," says Brune. "My parents took us camping up and down the eastern seaboard. I even learned to walk at a campground in Maine. "In the summer, as a teenager, I'd spend all day every day at the beach and in the ocean, surfing and bodysurfing."

So when hypodermic needles and chemical waste from nearby plants began washing up on the sand, he was disgusted. When he discovered his body covered in a rash and New Jersey beaches closed because of the dangerous contamination, he and his neighbors took action.


Title: Executive Director of the Sierra Club, America's oldest, biggest, and most influential grassroots environmental organization.

Born: 26 August 1972

Family: Michael's wife, Mary, is a mother, technical writer, and cofounder of the group MOMS -- Making Our Milk Safe. The couple lives in Alameda, California with their children, Olivia (8), Sebastian (4), and Genevieve (newborn).

Brune grew up in Chadwick Beach, New Jersey, and went to school in nearby Toms River. He graduated in 1993 from West Chester University, Pennsylvania, with dual B.S. degrees in Economics and Finance. 

Previous Experience: Brune's first environmental job was as an organizer for Greenpeace.  In 1998, Brune joined Rainforest Action Network, where he served the last seven years as executive director.

Publications: Brune is the author of Coming Clean -- Breaking America's Addiction to Oil and Coal (Sierra Club Books, 2010) and blogs regularly for Huffington Post and Daily Kos.


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Coming Clean: Michael Brune's Blog