Prominent Explorers Club Member Publicly Call For President’s Resignation


It has been a few weeks since I last posted on the growing internal controversy over at the Explorers Club. During that time, I know there has been some on going discussions with members over the leadership, and I’m told that a board meeting, held on January 28th, was a very long, and difficult one. Now, it seems that the Club’s spat is going public once again, as one of its more prominent members has called for President Lorie Karnath to resign from her post.

EC member Greg Bledsoe updated his blog yesterday with this post, in which he reveals that Explorer’s Club Honorary President Don Walsh has sent out a letter to the membership that calls for the resignation of Karnath as President of the club. You can read Don’s e-mail here. It gives a good over view of the entire controversy in the club, and indicates that this is the greatest crisis of leadership the organization has seen while he has been a part of it. For the record, he has been a member for more than 50 years.

In case you’re wondering, Walsh has a long and distinguished career in exploration and has served as part of the EC leadership for two decades, while also earning the Club’s highest award, as well as Hubbard Medal from National Geographic. He was named the Honorary President due to his service to the organization, and has been highly supportive of presidents in the past. To say he carries a lot of weight within the EC is an understatement, and for him to ask for the resignation of the current President is a big deal.

I know a number of readers of this blog also happen to be members of the Explorers Club. I believe that this is an important story that needs to be shared, as the organization is now at a crossroads in terms of where it will go in the 21st century. In Walsh’s letter, he talks about stifled communication brought on by Karnath and her “ruling clique,” as well “ethics trials” brought against board members – often on dubious terms. He also mentions that there has been an unwillingness to share financial records with board members, and even touches on the highly irregular move by 10 members of the Club’s Flag & Honors committee who threatened to resign over other implications of impropriety.

To get the full story, be sure to read Greg’s blog post, which he has followed up today with his thoughts on who he’ll be voting for in the EC Board elections that are coming up soon. It seems that they will be vitally important in determining who controls the 107-year old Club as we move forward in the years ahead.

(PS: I generally have used a graphic of the EC flag to denote posts on these topics, but I was kindly asked to no longer do so by Club officials, lest they get a cease and desist order on my humble little blog. In this post, I elected to use an image of Don Walsh that Greg is using on his site as well.)

Kraig Becker