Two prominent Indiana environmental group leaders will resign

Oct 7, 2021

Jesse Kharbanda (left) and Natalie Johnson (right) both announced they would be stepping down from leadership positions at their organizations this week.
Credit Courtesy of Courtney Brooks and Save the Dunes

The leaders of the largest statewide environmental group and one of the oldest environmental groups both announced they’re stepping down this week.

Jesse Kharbanda, Hoosier Environmental Council executive director, announced he’s leaving the organization after 13 years. In a letter, he said he plans to start writing fictional stories about animal characters motivated by biodiversity loss and confined animal feeding operations.

Natalie Johnson, executive director of Save the Dunes — which advocates for the protection of dunes natural areas and Lake Michigan — is ending her tenure there of nearly a decade. She plans to move closer to her family in St. Louis.

Both executive directors have agreed to stay on at their organizations until they find successors.

CLARIFICATION: A previous version of this story said Kharbanda plans to start writing books about biodiversity loss and confined animal feeding operations. For the purpose of clarity, it has been changed to fictional stories about animal characters motivated by biodiversity loss and confined animal feeding operations. 

Contact reporter Rebecca at rthiele@iu.edu or follow her on Twitter at @beckythiele.

Indiana Environmental reporting is supported by the Environmental Resilience Institute, an Indiana University Grand Challenge project developing Indiana-specific projections and informed responses to problems of environmental change.