Get to know our Executive Director, Joan Clayburgh

The Sierra Fund is lucky to have a staff dedicated to serving the Sierra Nevada region. Get to know the staff! Meet Joan Clayburgh our Executive Director.

What is your favorite place in the Sierra Nevada and why?

I have no ONE favorite, but oodles of favorites. For this blog I’ll share Roundtop Mountain off of Carson Pass. One of the best wildflower hikes in the world for sure. On any given day in wildflower season, you’ll find a couple hundred people hiking the trails to see all the various shades of paintbrush, owl clover, Giant Larkspur, elephants’ heads, etc. I don’t like crowds – but I understand why this area is so popular. I also love this area in fall and looking for Marmots and Pika up around Roundtop Lake. Once with a good friend overnight backpacking there I saw the parachuting of hundreds of teeny tiny spiders, drifting on fine threads of long spider silk over the pass – magical!! This pass is also a favorite snowshoe/cross country skiing spot for me with the dead white pines stand out like fantastic sculptures against the snow and blue sky.

How long have you been working at The Sierra Fund, and how did you end up here?

Almost four months! I ended up here after spending 28 years in the Sierra and over 40 years in the conservation movement. You can see my bio for more. I was long an admirer of Izzy Martin (retiring CEO). During my interview I was impressed with the kind, intelligent, politically strategic, and committed board and staff. I jumped at the offer and am looking forward to building on the organization’s legacy.

Projects you’re working on that you’re most excited about?

Currently I’m trying to meet all our major funders, supporters, and partners to collect input on The Sierra Fund’s strengths, opportunities to improve, and ideas to shape our future. We’ll do a strategic plan in the fall. Also, I’m leading up organizing our 20th Anniversary Reception. There couldn’t be a better way to start out then to organize a party!

What do you like to do outside of work?

I’m getting old. Hah! I was an avid downhill skier, backpacker and for a stint rock climbing. Although I was always a crummy rock climber and just happy with the easy climbs. But now my husband, dog and I are happy with a slower pace and gravitate to birding, hiking, snowshoeing, and camping. We hike most days at least a bit. I also am learning to draw, finding joy reflecting my love of wildlife.

Anything else people should know about you?

I love chocolate – too much. So, you should consider hiding your personal stash from me.