Outdoor Industry Association (OIA) is excited to announce Lise Aangeenbrug as its new executive director. Aangeenbrug is currently the executive director of the Outdoor Foundation, OIA’s philanthropic arm that focuses on getting kids and families outside. The OIA Board of Directors and an executive search committee, guided by Koya Leadership Partners, spent six months vetting and interviewing candidates. They connected with almost 400 potential candidates, conducted more than 50 interviews and spent many hours in discussion and deliberation. Aangeenbrug’s proven history with building collaborative relationships, her success with driving engagement and collective action and her clear vision for the power and purpose of Outdoor Industry Association earned her unanimous approval following the final round of interviews.
Aangeenbrug joined the Outdoor Foundation in early 2018 and transformed its work to provide multi-year capacity building grants to underserved communities. Outdoor Foundation’s Thrive Outside Community grant program launched in 2019 in four pilot communities: Atlanta, Oklahoma City, Grand Rapids and San Diego. In each community, the Thrive Outside approach connects existing organizations — including the Trust for Public Land, YMCA, Boys & Girls Clubs, local nonprofits, local school systems and local leaders — to create repeat and reinforcing outdoor experiences that are unique and culturally relevant to each community’s local kids and families.
“Lise’s strategic vision, conservation expertise and track record of coalition building make her the right leader to move the outdoor industry’s important work forward,” said Nora Stowell, OIA Board chair and fabric sales and marketing divisional leader at W.L. Gore & Associates. “Time and again, Lise has proven that collaboration creates action and cements positive change.”
“OIA has a unique role around bringing together voices and ideas to support thriving outdoor businesses, to empower and build thriving outdoor communities and to ensure a thriving planet,” said Aangeenbrug. “This is a dream job, and I am excited to collaborate with the outdoor industry and other organizations to build a big tent that leads to powerful action.”
“Lise’s role as executive director of OIA will further strengthen the work of and partnership with the Outdoor Foundation and its mission,” said Jen Mull Neuhaus, Outdoor Foundation Board chair. “For the health and wellbeing of people, communities and the outdoor industry, it has never been more important to get Americans outside.”
Before joining the Outdoor Foundation, Aangeenbrug was the executive vice president of the National Park Foundation (NPF), playing a key role in the organization’s strategic plan and direction. Prior to that, she served as executive director of the Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO) Trust Fund. In that capacity, she was responsible for the overall management and operation of Colorado’s constitutionally chartered fund which benefits the state’s rivers, trails, parks and open spaces. Her experience includes working with a 17-member governor-appointed board, grant-making, managing an 18-member staff, fundraising and governmental affairs.
Aangeenbrug began her career in natural resources as a field biologist in the Maasai Mara Game Reserve and has held positions as a presidential management fellow with the U.S. Department of the Interior and the California Department of Fish and Game. She earned her master’s degree from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies and her bachelor’s degree from St. Lawrence University. Aangeenbrug is a board member of the Land Trust Alliance, Resources Legacy Fund, and Global Dental Relief.
Aangeenbrug will start her position as executive director of OIA in March after a thorough transition from her role at the Outdoor Foundation. She will remain as president of the Outdoor Foundation when she moves to OIA, and the foundation will start a search for a new executive director to continue the momentum of the important work to increase outdoor participation.