POST president Audrey Rust to retire

Press release

By on Tue, January 25, 2011

After 24 years as president, C.E.O. and executive director of Peninsula Open Space Trust (POST), Audrey C. Rust announced today that she will retire on July 1, 2011. The POST Board of Directors named Walter T. Moore, currently executive vice president, to succeed her.

Rust has led POST since 1987. Under her leadership, the Palo Alto-based nonprofit land trust has worked in partnership with public agencies and private property owners to save 53,000 acres of local open space out of the total 64,000 acres POST has preserved since its founding in 1977.

Before coming to POST, Rust worked with the Sierra Club, Yale University and Stanford University. She has served on the boards of numerous local, state and national organizations, primarily in the conservation and housing arena. She has received many honors including the Times Mirror-Chevron National Conservationist of the Year Award, the California League of Conservation Voters Environmental Leadership Award, and the Cynthia Pratt Laughlin Medal, the Garden Club of America’s top environmental honor. Rust is a graduate of the University of Connecticut at Storrs and lives in Menlo Park.

Some of POST’s most significant accomplishments during Rust’s tenure include:

  • Preserving 4,262 acres at Rancho Corral de Tierra, near Montara, the majority of which is slated to become national parkland as part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area (GGNRA);
  • Expanding POST’s work in south Santa Clara County, including protection and transfer of Rancho Cañada del Oro and Rancho San Vicente to public parks agencies;
  • Leveraging private and public funding to protect landmark Mindego Hill along Skyline Ridge near La Honda;
  • Negotiating the purchase and transfer of Bair Island in Redwood City for inclusion in the Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge;
  • Securing the permanent protection of the historic Phleger Estate in Woodside as part of the GGNRA;
  • Raising more than $325 million for POST’s land-saving work, including $200 million to protect 20,000 acres along the San Mateo Coast through POST’s 2001-2005 Saving the Endangered Coast campaign.


Rust remarked that these and other achievements were made possible by the outpouring of support POST receives from the community. “The land is POST’s reason for being, but it’s people who make great things happen. I’ve been extremely fortunate to work with wonderful donors, funders, colleagues, Board members and landowners who grasp the urgency of POST’s land-saving mission and the benefits that open space delivers to people every single day. I’ve also been lucky to work in one of the most stunning parts of the country, where the beauty of the landscape clearly speaks for itself.”

Moore will take over leadership of POST on July 1. A lawyer by training with a specialty in real estate, he has worked at POST since 1995 and currently serves as executive vice president. His track record of accomplishment and commitment to POST’s mission were just some of the reasons the Board chose him to build on the organization’s past success and lead it into the future. “Walter’s passion for the land and his deep knowledge of POST make him the perfect candidate to succeed Audrey,” Wan said.

“Audrey has put POST in a position of strength and shaped our vision for what comes next,” said Moore. “Our challenge now is to fulfill this vision and preserve threatened lands within a resilient network of open space, address impacts arising from climate change on wildlife habitat and watersheds, increase opportunities for public access, and ensure we have sufficient resources to keep the lands POST protects saved in perpetuity.”