Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The Explorers Club Elects Alan Nichols President

One day after The Explorers Club held its 108th annual dinner in the Waldorf=Astoria on Mar. 17, the international exploration society’s board of directors selected Alan Nichols, from Belvedere, Calif., as its 38th president since the Club was founded in 1904.

Nichols, 82, an explorer who specializes in Tibet and China, and the world’s sacred mountains, replaced Lorie Karnath, who served the Club for three years.

Shortly after the selection, Nichols praised the achievements of Karnath during her tenure as Club president. "Lorie Karnath has delivered to the new administration a Club in pristine condition, with a refurbished building. She has added important sponsors, enhanced relations with our worldwide chapters and created plans to continue the protection of our museum-quality headquarters," Nichols said.

Nichols has served The Explorers Club at the chapter level and in a variety of officer- and committee-level positions where he has gained a reputation as a motivating speaker and the ability to moderate differences between conflicting ideas
among often strong-willed explorers.

He plans to expand upon the Club's ability to support field expeditions for which the Club has become famous. Initial goals are to encourage increased membership and secure new sources of funding and in-kind support, especially now that “exploration is so active in these times of expanded technology," Nichols said. “Where world field exploration intersects with 21st century communications, that’s where you’ll find our membership.”

Nichols’ experiences and knowledge of Tibet come from many years of study and journeys to the sacred mountains of Bhutan, China, Kashmir, Ladakh (“Little Tibet”), Nepal, and Sikkim. He was the first Westerner to circumambulate sacred Mt. Kailas in southwestern Tibet after Tibet was opened to foreigners. He was also the first to bicycle the entire Silk Road from Xian, China’s historic capital, to the Mediterranean, a feat achieved in four stages from 2001-08 with the help of his wife and others.

Nichols is author of many books including “To Climb a Sacred Mountain” (Illuminated Way Press, 1979), which he wrote under a pen name. It was the first book to establish the relationship between religions and mountains.

Nichols served as president of The Sacred Mountain Foundation, San Francisco, and is former president of the San Francisco School Board and City College of San Francisco. He is a graduate of Stanford University and Stanford Law School, and has practiced law for 50 years in San Francisco.

Nichols resides in Belvedere (Marin County) with his wife Becky, who, between them, have six children and four grandchildren.

1 comment:

  1. Congratulations Alan and to all Explorers Club Members, know that you have a leader-in-depth.
    Keith Brown, former Explorers Club Member and participant with Alan in Xinjiang-Tibet in 1986.