IEC announces new Executive Director

posted on Wednesday, January 13, 2021 in Council News

IEC is pleased to welcome Dr. Brian Campbell as the new Executive Director. Brian will join the team starting Tuesday, January 19. 

Brian CampbellServing most recently as Director of Sustainability - Education and Partnerships at Central College in Pella, he worked for more than six years to integrate sustainability throughout the institution, including courses across all departments; student research and internships; the college’s energy and waste management; local food partnerships with area farmers; community environmental education programs; and public advocacy for environmental and climate justice. 

"I am thrilled to be adding my experience and expertise to the team at the Iowa Environmental Council, especially right now," says Campbell.  

"This is a critical moment in the history of our state and the history of our planet as we confront challenges including political polarization, a global pandemic, economic distress, racial injustice, and the climate crisis. I am excited to help lead this broad, nonpartisan coalition and to amplify even more diverse voices as we continue to grow the environmental justice movement in Iowa. I've been a supporter since I moved to Iowa, and I have a great appreciation for the staff and all the member organizations.

For 25 years, the Council has worked to protect Iowa’s land and water, and to build a clean energy future. In the years ahead, we have the opportunity to expand the Council's relationships, enhance our voice, and continue our proud history of collaboration and coalition building." 

Brian holds a BA from Davidson College in Davidson, North Carolina; a Masters from Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley, California; and a PhD from Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia.

His academic training, teaching, and research have focused on the history and culture of American environmentalism, especially the values and stories that motivate grassroots engagement. Brian is co-producer of Mid-Americana: Stories from a Changing Midwest, a podcast highlighting the region’s diverse people and places. 

Brian has served on a number of local, regional, and national boards, including the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education, the Upper Midwest Association for Campus Sustainability, and the RE-AMP Network. He has been an active member of the City of Des Moines Sustainability Task Force and is the outgoing Board President of Iowa Interfaith Power & Light.

"The Board is delighted to welcome Brian to lead the Iowa Environmental Council," said Monte Marti, IEC Board President. "His commitment to the work, depth of environmental experience, and his understanding of the issues will build on IEC’s legacy of being a leader in protecting Iowa’s natural resources.  We look forward to the impact he will help make."

Brian grew up on the Alabama Gulf Coast and in the mountains of Western North Carolina. Since 2014, he and his wife Gina and two sons, Ian and Elliot, have called Des Moines home. Brian enjoys baking bread, playing soccer, and exploring the lakes, rivers, and trails of Iowa and the Midwest. 

Brian can be reached at