PAN Executive Director Kristin Schafer to Step Down | Pesticide Action Network
Reclaiming the future of food and farming

PAN Executive Director Kristin Schafer to Step Down

Kristin Schafer in Iowa

Pesticide Action Network (PAN) North America announced today that Kristin Schafer will be stepping down as the organization’s Executive Director early next year. Schafer will be working closely with PAN’s Board of Directors to ensure a smooth and effective transition. 

Schafer became PAN’s Executive Director in 2017, taking the reins from former director Judy Hatcher. Before moving into the position, Schafer had been PAN’s program and policy director, and has held many other roles at PAN over her 25-year tenure with the organization. 

“It’s been an honor to work with the amazing PAN team for so many years,” said Schafer. “I’m excited to see where a new generation of leadership can take this great organization. PAN’s collaborative efforts to transform our food and farming system have built tremendous momentum in recent years. This work continues to be critically important — and is increasingly urgent.”

PAN’s Board Chair, Nsedu Obot Witherspoon, thanked Schafer for her years of service at PAN, and particularly her contributions to protecting children’s health from pesticides. Witherspoon, who leads the Children’s Environmental Health Network (CEHN), noted that Schafer co-authored two key reports on children’s health and pesticides, helped lead PAN’s efforts to win the recent national ban of the brain-harming pesticide chlorpyrifos, and served on the CEHN policy committee for several years.

“Kristin’s tenure and list of accomplishments at PAN are only part of her legacy,” said Witherspoon. “Her passion and genuine desire to join the fantastic PAN team in the urgent fight for food justice, equity, and health promotion have been critical to the organization’s growth and expansion. In this transition, it is essential that PAN identifies the right leader for today and the explicit needs of the next era.”

PAN is launching an extensive search for a new Executive Director, according to Witherspoon, who will lead the hiring process with a team of Board members and staff. “The transition occurs at a time when the organization is in good financial health and is well positioned to build on its rich, 37-year history to move its current work forward while addressing today’s urgent challenges such as the climate crisis, biodiversity collapse, and racial injustice in food and farming."

As part of the global PAN International network, PAN North America works with those on the frontlines of chemical-intensive, industrial agriculture to win protections from pesticide exposure and advocate for policies and practices that will create a food and farming system that is healthy, resilient and just. PAN’s team of grassroots scientists, communications experts and coalition organizers lead collaborative campaigns at the state, national and international levels toward these goals.   

“We’re looking for a strong candidate who can work with the talented staff at PAN to move the organization’s goals forward in new and exciting ways,” added Witherspoon. “The perfect candidate for this position will bring strong organizational management skills, a deep commitment to collaboration and learning, and a desire to drive transformative change.”

Find the Executive Director job posting here.