The American Alpine Club announced yesterday that Mitsu Iwasaki will take over as its Chief Executive Officer on August 3. Iwasaki is replacing CEO Phil Powers, who announced last October that he would be stepping down this summer after serving for 15 years.
Iwasaki is has been working as the Executive Director of the Mazamas in Portland, Oregon, since August 2019. According to the Mazamas’ website, Iwasaki was selected for that role from a national search, as was the recent case for the American Alpine Club.
The AAC press release reads:
Prior to the Mazamas, he led the rebuilding of the Northwest Outward Bound School where he was the executive director for more than five years. He has also held senior roles at Outward Bound and Big City Mountaineers.
“I first joined the AAC as a member in 1997 and am honored to step in as the next leader,” said Iwasaki. “The AAC has broad and deep influence both within and outside the climbing community. The AAC is at an exciting and important juncture with an opportunity to build on the strong foundation put into place under the leadership of Phil Powers.”
“We’re thrilled to welcome Mitsu as our next CEO,” said AAC Board of Directors President Kevin V. Duncan. “Mitsu brings a strong track record of guiding organizations through periods of growth and transformation. Climbing is evolving rapidly and the AAC is leaning in. As more people are introduced to climbing through gyms and outdoor adventure films, our mission is to both share and support our passion for climbing, as well as respect the places we climb. We are more attuned to the responsibility we share to protect the public lands on which we recreate and to ensure that climbers are equipped with the knowledge and skills to keep themselves safe. We are confident that Mitsu is the best person to lead us into this new future.
“On behalf of the Board of Directors,” Duncan continued, “I wish to thank Phil for his outstanding leadership. His contributions to the club have been invaluable, driving significant growth and diversification of membership, and setting the stage for continued expansion and relevance.”
Iwasaki will be located in Golden. He is a partner at the Outdoor Policy Outfit and serves on the boards of Big City Mountaineers, Oregon Humanities, and the Oregon State Parks Foundation.
About the American Alpine Club
The American Alpine Club is a 25,000-member organization dedicated to supporting climbers and healthy climbing landscapes nationally. Since its founding in 1902, the AAC has devoted its efforts to cultivating mountain and climbing craft, disseminating climbing knowledge, advancing the interests of climbers, and safeguarding and conserving our country’s wild landscapes and natural treasures. The AAC has 82 chapters and sections nationwide.