President & Chief Executive Officer
Heads to American Physiological Society
Steen at the Screen Actors Guild Awards on behalf of American Forests in 2016.
Scott Steen, president and chief executive officer, has announced that he will be moving on to lead another organization after nearly eight years at American Forests. During his tenure, Steen focused on developing a stronger scientific foundation for the organization’s efforts, expanding public understanding of the importance of forests for human life, and emphasizing stewardship and transparency.
“I will remember my time at American Forests as a high point in my career,” Steen said. “Not only have I gotten to do work that is deeply meaningful and important for the health of the planet, I have had the opportunity to do it with an amazing group of people, including an exceptionally supportive, wise and courageous board, and an incredibly talented staff team.”
American Forests Board Chair Bruce Lisman noted that during Steen’s tenure, the organization tripled its membership, launched several new, high profile initiatives, and significantly increased operating revenue. “Scott has built more capacity for greater accomplishments than we ever imagined,” Lisman said. “We’ve planted a lot of trees during his tenure, but it’s the impact that really matters – saving wildlife, cleaning water, restoring urban canopy, and repairing damaged forests. He’s done so much for American Forests, and he’s done it with style and good humor. I value his leadership and his friendship.”
Board Vice Chair Richard Kabat added, “Scott leaves the organization with a highly capable management team, a solid financial base and a staff of dedicated professionals continuing the process of leading critically important initiatives and policy-making at the highest levels.”
Past Board Chair Ann Nichols pointed to the organizational strength, financial stability and improved program focus that Scott brought to American Forests. “These are the components of his legacy,” she said. “His leadership has changed American Forests’ future for the better and built a solid foundation on which to grow.”
Jonathan Silver, like Lisman, returned as a board member during Steen’s term. Having served a decade earlier as board chair, Silver echoed the thoughts of others in crediting Scott with turning the organization around. “The American Forests we know today would not exist without Scott. Scott took over an old and venerable, but troubled, organization and, in his time there, turned it into a major voice for forest conservation. The organization, and the country, are better for his leadership.”
Board Member Zim Boulos added, “Scott is a true visionary. He inspired and challenged the board and his staff in many ways.”
During his seven-plus years, Steen has been passionate about expanding public awareness for both the organization and the cause. During this time, American Forests has received media coverage in such outlets as The New York Times, USA Today, The Washington Post, NatGeo Weekend, NPR, and many others.
Its website traffic has more than doubled and the organization now has more than a quarter-million social media followers. The organization has also expanded public awareness through several innovative partnerships, including with actor Ryan Reynolds (with Eddie Bauer), the Super Bowl (with Verizon), and the Screen Actors Guild Awards.
Past Board Chair Lynda Webster commented, “American Forests is losing an extraordinary leader who made transformational changes at a pivotal point in its history. Scott built an exceptional team and together they have taken the organization to places beyond what I imagined.”
Steen will assume his new role at the American Physiological Society in July. Established in 1887, APS is a global, multidisciplinary association of scientists focused on solving major problems affecting life and health. The Society represents more than 10,500 members and publishes 15 peer-reviewed journals with a worldwide readership.