The Colorado Department of Natural Resources has named Doug Vilsack its assistant director for parks, wildlife and lands.
He has served as a legislative liaison for DNR the past three years. As assistant director he will be the agency's chief policy advisor on natural resources, parks, wildlife, trails and outdoor recreation.
“Doug is an important addition to the leadership team we are building at the Colorado Department of Natural Resources,” Dan Gibbs, DNR's executive director, said in a statement Thursday.
Gibbs said Vilsack helped pass Senate Bill 181, a bill to give more local control and other regulatory steps on Colorado's oil and gas industry this past session, as well as helping pass the Hunting, Fishing, and Parks for Future Generations Act in 2018.
He also has worked on increasing funding for the state water plan, DNR said in a press release.
“Doug has demonstrated great leadership in program and policy development and has a true passion for wildlife and protecting Colorado’s public lands,” Gibbs stated. “I am thrilled to have Doug on board as we tackle important priorities for our Department including increasing access to our state lands for more Coloradans and developing new funding opportunities to support Colorado’s wildlife and outdoor recreation opportunities.”
Before going to work for the state, Vilsack was an attorney handling water, energy, mining and public lands cases. He also worked with the World Wildlife Fund in Namibia to develop community-based conservation programs to save elephants.
He is a founder and leader of several nonprofit organizations, including Elephant Energy, which establishes distribution networks for small solar products in rural Africa.
Vilsack is the former executive director of the Posner Center for International Development, a network of Colorado-based businesses and organizations addressing global poverty.
He has a bachelor's degree in environmental systems: natural resource management from Colorado College in Colorado Springs and his law degree from the University of Colorado Boulder.
He is a son of Tom Vilsack, a former Iowa governor and the secretary of agriculture during the Obama administration.