POINT REYES STATION, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Marin Agricultural Land Trust (MALT), a pioneering farmland trust in California’s Marin County, announced today that it has selected Thane Kreiner, Ph.D., as the organization’s chief executive officer. Kreiner will apply his diverse skills—everything from training the next generation of social entrepreneurs who are addressing global environmental and social issues to founding and running companies devoted to innovative scientific advances—to accelerate MALT’s work to model new methods for sustainable, inclusive agriculture and land stewardship.
“Thane is passionate about sustainable local food production as well as global efforts to improve health and wellness,” said Neil Rudolph, chair of MALT’s Board of Directors. “After 40 successful years, MALT recognizes the need to explore new tools and initiatives to keep our farmers and ranchers economically and environmentally successful, both today and for generations to come. We cast a wide net for the CEO role, and the board is confident that Thane’s unique experience will be invaluable in helping MALT achieve our long-term aspirations.”
“Working with the MALT team offers a unique opportunity to unite my personal and professional passions,” said Kreiner. “MALT was the first agricultural land trust in the nation, and their pioneering spirit is part of their organizational identity. Along with the rest of the MALT team, I’m excited to engage the community to advance best practices for regenerative, inclusive, local food systems that can be implemented regionally, nationally and globally.”
MALT has played a critical role in preserving open space and agricultural land in Marin County since its founding in 1980, having permanently protected more than 54,000 acres of productive farmland to date. Recently, the organization has increasingly worked with its partners to promote sustainable agricultural practices that help protect shared natural resources—such as clean air, clean water, healthy soils and wildlife habitat—as well as sequester carbon and promote climate resilience.
Leveraging Kreiner’s Strengths to Propel MALT’s Future
Over an illustrious career spanning nearly 30 years, Kreiner has served as CEO, executive director, board director and independent advisor for multiple organizations all with a singular focus: catalyzing systems-level transformation through innovation and entrepreneurship, while demonstrating a strong commitment to social, climate and racial justice.
“I’ve been privileged to work with impact investors, social entrepreneurs, researchers and other global innovators who are helping to promote climate resilience, harness genetic advances to improve human health and alleviate poverty among the planet’s poorest people,” Kreiner said. “I look forward to applying the full scope of my experience to build on MALT’s vision.”
During a decade as executive director of Miller Center for Social Entrepreneurship at Santa Clara University, one of the world’s leading social enterprise accelerators, Kreiner led strategy and secured funding to accelerate more than 1,000 social enterprises in 100 countries—positively impacting the lives of over 450 million people worldwide with solutions including clean energy, sustainable agriculture, safe water, health and women’s economic empowerment.
Prior to Miller Center, Kreiner spent 17 years starting, building and running life sciences companies, including the pioneering biotech company Affymetrix as well as several new ventures in regenerative medicine, cancer drug discovery and the microbiome.
He serves on the board of Conservation X Labs, which spurs innovative solutions to end human-induced extinction, and recently co-founded the Black Corporate Board Readiness program, designed to accelerate diversity in corporate governance.
Lisa Poncia, MALT board member and co-owner and operator of Stemple Creek Ranch, said: “Our planet is facing an urgent climate crisis, and there’s a compelling need to identify and implement sustainable agricultural practices that provide nourishing food for everyone, everywhere. Marin County agriculture is leading the way in modeling how local food systems can be part of the solution. We are excited to welcome Thane to our organization and lead MALT to make our vision become a reality.”
Marin Agricultural Land Trust is a nonprofit organization created in 1980 to permanently preserve Marin County farmland and establish Marin County as a thriving agricultural community in a healthy and diverse natural environment. Some of the Bay Area’s most highly acclaimed dairy and meat products and organic crops are produced on farmland protected by MALT, which totals more than 54,000 acres on 86 family farms and ranches. To learn more about MALT, visit malt.org.
Link to Thane Kreiner photos