UCS President Announces Transition

Published Aug 31, 2020

CAMBRIDGE, Mass.—Ken Kimmell announced his intention to step down as president of the Union of Concerned Scientists at the end of the year. Following is a statement from Mr. Kimmell:

“All across the country, leaders of organizations are stepping down to create opportunities for new and diverse leaders to take their place. This is a positive trend. We are at an inflection point in our nation’s history with respect to racial equity, and my commitment to dismantling racism at UCS and across the country is best served by my stepping down to make way for a new leader.

“As a former government official, watching the destruction of our democratic institutions and loss of scientific capacity at the federal level over the last four years has been deeply troubling. I feel called to return to public service and use my governmental and legal expertise to help rebuild and revitalize government.

“It has been my great privilege to lead UCS, and I am very proud to leave it on strong financial footing. I have every confidence that the tremendous staff will continue to achieve science-based solutions to protect and promote our nation’s health, safety, environment and democracy.”

Following is a statement from UCS Board Chair Anne R. Kapuscinski. Dr. Kapuscinski is also the director of the Coastal Science and Policy Program and a professor of environmental studies at the University of California, Santa Cruz:

“On behalf of the full Board, I wish to extend my deep gratitude to Ken for his leadership over the past six years. He played a fundamental role in building UCS from a $24 million organization to more than $40 million today.

“He has served as our chief ambassador for our many supporters and represented us ably in the halls of Congress. He has traveled tirelessly across the country to highlight to many different audiences the importance of science as a key component of decisionmaking. His sharp legal mind has guided us as we participated in lawsuits as a means to halt anti-science regulations. Under Ken’s leadership, UCS achieved multiple clean energy wins in states across the country, rose to the challenge of defending science amidst an unprecedented attack from the current administration and grew into a more visible and muscular organization.

“Ken is leaving the organization in a strong position. I am confident that the tremendous UCS staff and leadership will not miss a beat on the important work before us: to ensure science and democracy work together to inform decisions that serve the public good; to rapidly advance clean and equitable climate, energy and transportation solutions; to provide healthy and sustainably produced food for all; and to reduce the existential threat of nuclear war.”