Campion Advocacy Fund Names Neil Kornze as New CEO
Kornze Served as Director of Bureau of Land Management for President Obama
SEATTLE – Tom and Sonya Campion, founding trustees of the Campion Advocacy Fund and the Campion Foundation, announced today the selection of Neil Kornze as the new Chief Executive Officer of both organizations, which work to protect public lands, end homelessness, and build nonprofit capacity.
“We could not be more thrilled to welcome Neil to Seattle and the Campion team,” said trustees Tom and Sonya Campion. “Our nation’s public lands and our most vulnerable communities are facing unprecedented threats. We’re up for the fight and we’re excited to have Neil’s leadership take our work to a new level of impact and leverage. Together, we will execute a bold vision into the future for wild places, people experiencing homelessness in our communities, and advocacy in the nonprofit sector.”
The Campion Foundation and Campion Advocacy Fund were established to preserve the last remaining wild places across the West. Through this work, Campion has directed substantial support to the protection of vital landscapes like the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and Tongass National Forest in Alaska, the Boulder-White Clouds Wilderness in Idaho, and numerous other wild places throughout the western United States and Canada.
A second major focus for the Foundation and Fund is working to end homelessness in Washington state and across the country. Campion has supported critical efforts including the establishment of the Washington State Office of Homeless Youth and the creation of innovative public-private partnerships to end youth homelessness like A Way Home America and A Way Home Washington.
Kornze, who started as CEO at the beginning of January, brings extensive experience in public administration to these important programs. From 2014 to 2017, he served in the Obama Administration as the Senate-confirmed Director of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), the nation’s largest public lands agency. The BLM has more than 10,000 employees and responsibility for more than ten percent of land in the United States. Prior to his time at the BLM, Kornze spent nearly a decade working as a policy advisor to former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. After leaving the Obama Administration, he founded his own strategy firm to help clients protect land and wildlife, and focused on expanding the outdoor economy.
“I am proud to join the stellar team at the Campion Advocacy Fund and the Campion Foundation. The majestic land, water and wildlife that define us as a nation are under assault. At the same time, hundreds of thousands of Americans lack a safe place to sleep, and the problem is getting worse in many communities. We will be working tirelessly to bring attention to these urgent issues and to support those who are fighting for change,” said Neil Kornze.
Under Kornze’s leadership at the BLM, protections were added to an unprecedented fifty-five million acres of public land to support the recovery of umbrella species like the Greater Sage Grouse and to preserve treasures like the ancient Native American sites found in Bears Ears National Monument. Kornze also led major reforms of our nation’s energy programs, including halting massive federal coal sales, dramatically reducing emissions from oil and gas operations on public lands, and authorizing the largest wind and solar projects in North America.
The Campion Foundation was founded in 2005 by Tom and Sonya Campion following Tom’s success in co-founding and leading Zumiez, a Washington-based company that is the world’s largest action-sports retailer with 700 stores on three continents. Tom and Sonya took their efforts a step further in 2013 when they established the Campion Advocacy Fund, a separate but affiliated 501(c)(4) nonprofit that works on similar issues to the original 501(c)3 foundation.
Raised in Elko, Nevada, Kornze earned his undergraduate degree from Whitman College in Walla Walla, Washington, and a master’s degree from the London School of Economics.