Seattle Parks Foundation welcomes new CEO, Rebecca Bear
After an extensive national search, we are excited to announce Seattle Parks Foundation’s new President and CEO, Rebecca Bear.
Rebecca is a leader in expanding access to outdoor recreation, parks, and open spaces. She has over 25 years of experience building and scaling organizations and community programs nationwide. She’s a passionate fundraiser and partnership builder, with a focus on connecting diverse communities to the outdoors nationwide.
Formerly the Director of REI Outdoor Programs and Local Community Engagement, Rebecca is bringing expertise in public/private partnerships, local advocacy, and community engagement. She co-led REI’s local community diversity initiatives, including a groundbreaking gender equity program. Prior to her tenure at REI, Rebecca was Board Chair of Passages Northwest, now YMCA BOLD & GOLD, where she founded Girls Rock!, a mentorship program for adolescent girls. We are excited to have a leader with Rebecca’s experience and credentials at this important juncture for Seattle Parks Foundation. As Seattle Parks Foundation deepens its resolve to tackle inequities in the parks and public space system in Seattle, Rebecca’s understanding of and commitment to racial equity, paired with her inherent love and appreciation for parks and the outdoors, make her an ideal person to steer our efforts.
During this extraordinary year, we have learned that our parks are an essential service to our community infrastructure, as park visitation is higher than ever. The issues we are encountering in our parks are complex, including racial and social inequity, houselessness, the economic and health impacts due to the pandemic, and the challenges of climate change. But we are confident that with Rebecca’s leadership we will continue to navigate these issues with compassion, understanding, and resolve.
We are excited to start this new chapter with Rebecca Bear. She joins our talented staff, dedicated board, and 80 community partner groups, and is positioned to lead Seattle Parks Foundation in its continued efforts to support the communities and people who love and advocate for our parks.