In January 2024, the LA Community Garden Council (LACGC) Board was thrilled to announce that after a broad search, they named social impact leader Omar Brownson as the next Executive Director of LACGC.

Omar comes to LACGC with extensive experiences leading and growing organizations at the nexus of environmental and social change. After a successful career in real estate, finance and sustainability, Omar founded and led River LA, where he raised hundreds of millions of dollars to transform the 51-mile Los Angeles River into a public resource and ecosystem for LA County. In this work, he collaborated with local residents, government, funders and river advocates to bring a vision of a vibrant and accessible Los Angeles River to life. 

Following his tenure as Executive Director, Omar co-founded and scaled a highly-rated technology platform focused on gratitude which included mindfulness teachers and cultural pioneers such as Jack Kornfield and George Takei. He has facilitated hundreds of gratitude circles, co-hosts the Gratitude Blooming podcast (ranked in the top three percent in the world) and continues several creative collaborations, including advising the Ubuntu Climate Initiative. 

As a leader, Omar is deeply driven by the power of people connected to land and each other, while telling a larger story of our collective potential. He is a self-described ‘everyday creative’ most recently working on community art and poetry in collaboration with Zen Master Norma Wong and the Japanese American National Museum. His family includes farmers in northern California and his grandmother moved to Los Angeles in the 1950s. His two daughters are fourth generation Angelenas. 

Having this breadth of leadership and life experience, the Board trusts that Omar is the perfect leader to grow LACGC’s impact while recognizing the need to sustain a sense of continuity, belonging, and purpose rooted in LACGC’s incredible 25 year history.

The LACGC Board was extremely impressed by Omar’s vision for community gardens as a place to grow both food as well as resilient hubs of connection in our communities.  As Omar told us, “I firmly believe that small, localized efforts can yield significant positive change with our more than 47 community gardens and 2,000 members.” 

Please join us in welcoming Omar Brownson to the LA Community Garden Council!