In this Chair letter, I am delighted to highlight the volunteer side of CIEL.
My board colleagues hold a wide range of environ- mental and human rights expertise and experiences, but every one of us has a passion for the mission and vision that CIEL brings to the most challenging issues facing communities and organizations. From hands-on, ground level fenceline and frontline activists to Indigenous leaders, environmental justice elders, academicians, policy framers, authors, and even a former prime minister and Nobel Laureate, our historic advisory board members have invested our zest and resources to guarantee that CIEL thrives.
I was recently looking through CIEL’s 2010 Annual Report. It was a year of milestones. We celebrated CIEL’s first twenty years. Daniel Magraw, who in 1989 was CIEL’s very first individual donor, completed his eight-year tenure as CIEL’s leader and Carroll Muffett, himself a former CIEL intern, had just become President and CEO. In the ensuing thirteen years, Carroll’s leadership can be measured in impact, innovation, and excellence — and in growth. Our impact is praised and recognized, but most importantly, we have made a difference in people’s lives.
It is sobering to realize that I have been on the board for over twenty years (while still complying with term limits!). But then, our work and the relationships we foster are a lifelong commitment. I call CIEL a “sticky” place; through the decades, interns, staff, and board have returned to CIEL — both directly in different roles and positions, as well as indirectly as we continue to cross paths, collaborate, and build a more just future within the international spaces where we work together. In this way, CIEL is building a kind of global family, with its seeds of impact spreading roots and growing branches to advance environmental justice and human rights around the world.
I believe that we at CIEL are the 21st century midwives to a sustainable future. We will and must build on the thirty-year victory of the right to a healthy environment and our role in its delivery. Join us as we ensure that the next thirty-five years are as rewarding and high-impact as these first thirty-five have been.
Thank you for the honor and privilege to (twice) help steer and serve our future as Chair.
Dianne Dillon Ridgely
Chair, Board of Trustees