UPSTREAM Announces New Leader: Matt Prindiville, veteran campaigner to become new Executive Director

Campaigns: Press Releases


July 1, 2015


UPSTREAM announced today that Matt Prindiville, a veteran campaigner and the organization’s sitting Associate Director, will become the organization’s next Executive Director on July 1. Prindiville spent the last four years building the organization’s program areas in sustainable products and packaging, and plastic pollution. He led the organization’s rebranding efforts and has dramatically expanded UPSTREAM’s constituency base and reach.

“Matt has a solid track record of success within this organization. He knows the issues, understands the political landscape, and has the respect of everyone who has worked with him,” says Mark Hays, UPSTREAM’s board president. “He brings a wealth of technical knowledge on creating and implementing legislation as well as real-world practical experience in running successful advocacy campaigns, building broad coalitions, and working with stakeholders from every side of the issue. He will be a strong and effective leader for UPSTREAM.”

“I’m confident that Matt will take UPSTREAM to the next level,” says Bill Sheehan, outgoing Executive Director who founded UPSTREAM in 2003. “His abilities to build networks across communities and make complex policies accessible will help UPSTREAM expand the organization’s work to advance sustainability, end plastic pollution and reduce climate disruption through product-focused environmental policies.

Prindiville has nearly 15 years of experience in advancing policies to hold corporations accountable for the environmental and social impacts of what they produce. He is a social entrepreneur, policy expert and campaign strategist who has helped develop and coordinate efforts to advance safer chemicals policy, toxics-use reduction and product stewardship throughout the United States.

“Over the years, UPSTREAM has played an important national role in bringing extended producer responsibility to the United States. Matt has been an instrumental leader in the battles we have fought for sustainable product policy, and is well-prepared to lead UPSTREAM as we begin this exciting new chapter,” says Dawn Erlandson, Vice President of UPSTREAM’s board of directors.

UPSTREAM is well-positioned both programmatically and financially as Prindiville takes the helm, and Prindiville intends to build on the success and influence that the organization has had in bringing extended producer responsibility (EPR) and product stewardship policies to the United States.

“While I’m daunted by the crises confronting our planet from broken economic systems, I am also inspired by the actions of everyday people to build a more just and sustainable world,” says Prindiville. “There is a growing movement to create a circular economy that stewards the natural resources and energy we take from the planet, and I’m excited to lead UPSTREAM to help the movement grow stronger.”

Prior to joining UPSTREAM, Prindiville spent eight years as Clean Production Project Director and Legislative Director, for the Natural Resources Council of Maine. He has been at the forefront of initiatives to pass groundbreaking recycling programs for electronics and mercury containing products, the phase out of lead, mercury and toxic brominated flame retardants and the advancement of the nation’s first comprehensive chemicals assessment program at the state level. He has founded and built several national coalitions and campaigns to make industry responsible for the environmental impacts of their products. Most recently, Prindiville developed the Make It, Take It Campaign, a collaborative effort to pressure consumer goods companies to take responsibility for their packaging waste. He is based in midcoast Maine and will transfer the organization from Georgia to Maine.

Prindiville begins his new role today, July 1, and the organization has hired a new Program Director who will begin work in September. Sheehan will continue on staff through 2015 as Senior Advisor.

Founded in 2003, UPSTREAM is a national public-interest organization dedicated to creating a healthy, sustainable, and equitable society by addressing the root causes of environmental harm. Our mission is to advance sustainability and reduce climate disruption through product-focused environmental policies. UPSTREAM conducts original research, develops model policies and educational materials, and organizes key stakeholders to build a green and just economy. We work to ensure that products and packaging are designed with safe, sustainable materials and continuously reused or recycled into the products of tomorrow, creating jobs, business opportunities, and a healthy environment.

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