John Sauven is stepping down as executive director of Greenpeace UK after 14 years.
John joined Greenpeace in 1991. As a forest campaigner, he was instrumental in getting protection for the Great Bear rainforest in Canada, and halting further destruction of the Amazon by soya producers.
After being appointed executive director in 2007, John led the organisations on many high-profile climate campaigns, including:
- Stopping the third runway at Heathrow
- Ending the construction of new coal plants in the UK
- Resisting Shell’s attempts to drill in the Arctic.
When Greenpeace activists were arrested by Russian security forces in the Arctic and held in prison for over two months, he steered the organisation through one of the most difficult times in its history.
A life-long forest campaigner, in 2013 John also helped negotiate a landmark agreement to protect the Indonesian rainforest. In recent years, he campaigned to stop fracking in the UK, cut plastic waste and protect the oceans from destructive fishing and other industries.
Pat Venditti is Greenpeace UK’s interim executive director
The board has appointed programme director Pat Venditti as interim executive director.
Pat has been in charge of our campaigning programme for the past seven years, and will lead Greenpeace UK while we recruit a permanent new executive director.
John will step down as executive director on 1 February and will stay on to advise and support the interim executive director until 31 March to ensure a smooth transition.