< Back to Staff & Board

Tom Kiernan

President and CEO

Tom Kiernan (he/him) became President and CEO of American Rivers in February 2021, leading the 78 staff that make American Rivers the nation’s most trusted and influential river conservation organization. Throughout his career, Tom has been dedicated to protecting the nation’s lands and waters, diversifying the conservation movement and advancing innovative solutions to benefit people and nature.

Before joining American Rivers, Tom led the American Wind Energy Association for over seven years, growing the organization and advancing a clean energy policy agenda to fight climate change. As President of the National Parks Conservation Association from 1998-2013, he and his team increased the annual budget from $16 to $35 million and led a capital campaign exceeding the $125 million goal. With his team, he established the Community Partners Program at NPCA in 1999 – one of the first diversity programs of any major conservation organization.  

Tom developed a love for rivers at a young age, growing up on the Potomac River in metropolitan Washington, DC. He co-founded the Rocky Mountain Outdoor Center on the Arkansas River in Colorado and worked at North Carolina’s Nantahala Outdoor Center guiding trips throughout the Southeast. Today, Tom is an avid rower who spends time on the Potomac River most mornings.

He received a BA from Dartmouth College and an MBA from Stanford’s Graduate School of Business.