Former Obama Official To Head Campion Foundation, Advocacy

A former Department of Interior official in the Obama Administration has been tapped to lead the Campion Foundation and Campion Advocacy Fund.

Neil Kornze will succeed Lisa Jaguzny, who stepped down in June after almost 10 years. Jaguzny, the organization’s founding CEO, left Campion to become executive director of Oxbow Farm & Conservation Center in Carnation, Wash.

The Campion Foundation was established in 2005 and the Campion Advocacy Fund was created in 2013 as a separate but affiliated 501(c)(4) social welfare organization that works on similar issues to the original 501(c)3 foundation.

The foundation reported total revenue of $2.5 million in 2016, the most recent year for which tax forms are available. Total expenses were $5.3 million, including $3 million in contributions, gifts and grants paid, with total assets reported as $30.3 million.

Kornze, who started as CEO at the beginning of January, served in the Obama Administration from 2014 to 2017 as director of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), within the Department of the Interior. The nation’s largest public lands agency, the BLM has more than 10,000 employees and responsibility for more than 10 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 (D-Nev.). 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.

Under Kornze’s leadership at the BLM, 55 million acres of public lands were protected to support the recovery of keystone species like the Greater Sage Grouse and to preserve treasures like the ancient Native American sites found in Bears Ears National Monument, according to the announcement. He also led major reforms of the 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.

Raised in Elko, Nev. Kornze earned his undergraduate degree from Whitman College in Walla Walla, Wash., and a master’s degree from the London School of Economics.

“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,” founding trustees Tom and Sonya Campion said via a press release announcing the appointment. The foundation’s mission is to protect public lands, end homelessness and building nonprofit capacity.

The foundation, based on downtown Seattle, Wash., 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 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.