Pacific Environment Announces New Executive Director

Shannon Wright to join nonprofit in January 2024
Date: December 14, 2023

Pacific Environment welcomes Shannon Wright as its new Executive Director, effective Jan. 2, 2024.

Ms. Wright’s background in international campaigning and her proven track record as a non-profit leader make her the perfect fit for Pacific Environment, an organization with a 30-year history of work supporting and partnering with communities and cultures to protect natural resources around the Pacific Rim.

“The Board and staff of Pacific Environment are thrilled to welcome Shannon,” said Peter Riggs, chair of Pacific Environment’s Board of Directors. “Combining world-class strategic chops with deep emotional intelligence, Shannon is the leader we need now. The outgoing Executive Director, Alex Levinson, did an outstanding job positioning the organization for the next phase of its growth and impact and we are intensely grateful to Alex for his 12 years of leadership and for putting the organization into its current strong financial position.

“Shannon was selected after a seven-month search. She consistently impressed the Board and Directors involved with the interview process with both her poise and her alignment with this organization’s values. We look forward to a very exciting New Year for Pacific Environment under Shannon’s leadership.”

Ms. Wright was formerly the executive director of RE Sources, a dynamic regional environmental advocacy and education organization based in the Pacific Northwest. She also served on the Board of Directors of Pacific Environment from 2002 to 2005.

At RE Sources, she helped achieve recent wins including a landmark victory to permanently prohibit new fossil fuel infrastructure and capacity expansion at refineries in Washington, halting the construction of a new, polluting wastewater treatment plant on the Salish Sea, and protecting mature forests slated for logging. Her work has spanned continents and includes partnerships with Indigenous organizations across the hemisphere.

“Each chapter of my life’s work has been built on the last, across continents, organizations and roles,” Wright said. “This is true from my early days of leading scrappy, volunteer teams of diehard forest and climate activists, to later forging more complex and nuanced alliances with diverse stakeholders to advance responses to oil and gas expansion on Indigenous lands in the Amazon basin or championing clean energy solutions for California.

“I am excited to lead Pacific Environment in our efforts to decarbonize the shipping industry, reduce single-use plastics, create and expand marine protected areas, and build lasting partnerships with local community organizations around the Pacific Rim.”

Wright attended Brown University where she received a Masters and Bachelor’s of Arts in International Development Studies.