Jane Kleeb, Founder and Director

Jane Fleming Kleeb is an experienced grassroots organizer, author, manager, political strategist, and nonprofit entrepreneur. In her work, Jane protects property rights while building an engaged base of citizens who care about the land and water.


For her years of work in rural communities, Jane was named a Climate Breakthrough awardee in 2023, the highest honor in the climate change field. Jane is setting out to create a new project called Energy Builders that works with rural communities to change the economic model of large-scale clean energy projects to benefit the people who live on the land that is creating America’s next 100 years of energy.

In 2010, she founded Bold Nebraska, which later became the Bold Alliance, a network of “small but mighty” coalitions in rural states working to protect the land and water with a focus on land justice and energy freedom with projects from the Pipeline Fighters Hub to the Easement Action Teams. 

Jane earned the nickname “Keystone Killer” by Rolling Stone magazine after a decades-long fight to stop a risky pipeline from using eminent domain for private gain and trampling on the sovereign rights of Tribal Nations. Jane helped create an unlikely alliance with farmers, ranchers, indigenous leaders and climate advocates that all knew they had different views on various topics but shared a deep love for the land.

Bringing urban and rural folks together through meaningful and creative actions has been Jane’s goal throughout her career. She was a driving force behind Reject and Protect, where 12 tipis were placed on DC’s National Mall and where the Cowboy and Indian Alliance rode horses through the streets of DC. The Ponca Corn Harvest that not only helped stop the Keystone XL pipeline but brought some land justice to the Ponca people. Jane also hosted Nebraska’s largest advocacy concert, Harvest the Hope, with Willie Nelson and Neil Young. 

Since 2016, Jane has served in a volunteer capacity as Chair of the Nebraska Democratic Party. She also serves on the Executive Committees of the Democratic National Committee and the Association of State Democratic Committees.

Jane is the author of Harvest the Vote: How Democrats Can Win Again in Rural America, published in 2020. 

Profiled by PBS in their short-film, “Blue Wind on a Red Prarie and in the New York Times magazine, “Jane Kleeb vs the Keystone XL Pipeline” Jane is always working to elevate the national conversation on “red and rural” states.

Jane started her career as a Commissioner and then training director for Florida’s Commission on National and Community Service. She went on to serve as one of the youngest directors of an AmeriCorps project and then assisted a national AmeriCorps project develop their literacy and youth outreach programs.

As Executive Director of the Young Democrats of America from 2004 to 2007, Jane implemented the first-ever national youth coordinated campaign to mobilize young voters and worked with an alliance of diverse groups ranging from Punk Voters to Stonewall Democrats creating the “hangouts and home” model of voter outreach. Jane went on to be the co-founder of the DNC’s Youth Council, bringing together the Young Democrats, College Democrats, and other organizations to enshrine youth engagement into the institution of the Democratic Party.

Jane worked for MTV as their Street Team reporter in 2007 and for years was a regular contributor on Fox News, MSNBC and CNN. 

As Nebraska State Director of the SEIU Change That Works Project in 2008–2010, she brought together leaders from advocacy, faith groups, doctors, farmers, ranchers, and small businesses to secure a key vote for passage of the Affordable Care Act.

Jane has a B.A. in religious studies from Stetson University and an M.A. in international training and education from American University. She currently lives in rural Nebraska with her husband Scott and three daughters — Kora, Maya, and Willa.

The Keystone XL fight changed my life,and inspired me to never give up on anyone, anywhere. I am inspired by the small but mighty groups of people who punch above their weight for change. The ones who give a damn about leaving the world a better place.
Jane Fleming Kleeb