Seattle’s Most Influential People 2019: Outgoing CEO and President of the Bullitt Foundation, Denis Hayes

Twenty-seven years after becoming a leader at the Bullitt Foundation, environmental activist Denis Hayes is stepping down

This article appears in print in the November 2019 issue, as part of the Most Influential People of the Year feature. Click here to subscribe.

It only seemed natural for Denis Hayes, organizer of the first Earth Day in 1970, to take on a leadership role at the Bullitt Foundation 27 years ago. Under his direction, the environmental philanthropic nonprofit blossomed, granting more than $200 million to Pacific Northwest environmental groups and erecting the Bullitt Center, a six-story, self-sustaining office building on Capitol Hill, where the foundation is currently headquartered. Now, Hayes is stepping down as CEO and president, and the foundation will be winding down its grantmaking over the next five years. But in true foundation fashion, the Bullitt Center will be gifted to Pacific Northwest environmental groups for use as office space in 2024.

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