Great Lakes Commission names Darren Nichols new Executive Director
The Great Lakes Commission (GLC) has hired Darren Nichols, formerly of the Columbia River Gorge Commission, as Executive Director. Nichols, who most recently served as Associate Director for the William D. Ruckelshaus Center in Seattle, will oversee the GLC’s work on regional programs and advocacy, as well as day-to-day operations.
“We are so excited to welcome Darren Nichols to the Great Lakes Commission as our new executive director,” said GLC Chair John Linc Stine, Commissioner of the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency. “As the former leader of an interstate compact agency, he brings a strong background in building strategic partnerships and addressing high-profile public policy issues. We are looking forward to his fresh perspective on managing Great Lakes issues and believe he will be an outstanding leader in balancing economic and environmental interests on behalf of our member states and provinces.”
As Executive Director of the Columbia River Gorge Commission, Nichols managed a regional, bi-state agency governed by a thirteen-member commission. He convened Oregon and Washington governors’ offices, local and state officials, tribal leaders, railroads, environmental advocates, scientists, property owners, business leaders and other interests to address complex public policy issues, including fossil fuel transport, climate change, forest health, urban growth management and regional economic development. Nichols developed and led multi-agency, multi-disciplinary partnerships to address regional challenges.
Nichols earned a bachelor’s degree in business economics from Willamette University and a master’s degree in urban and regional planning from Portland State University. He also earned a J.D. from Lewis & Clark Law School with a focus on environmental, natural resources and energy law.
Nichols officially begins his duties in mid-April.