SEATTLE. – Michael Kern, a veteran of managing public policy issues especially regarding natural resources, is the new director of the William D. Ruckelshaus Center operated by Washington State University and the University of Washington. The Center provides expertise to improve the quality and availability of voluntary collaborative approaches for policy development and multi-party dispute resolution. His appointment was announced today.
“We are pleased to have someone of Michael’s caliber and experience to lead the center,” said William D. Ruckelshaus, chairman of the center’s advisory board. “His knowledge of both the region and the issues make him the perfect choice for the position.”
Linda Kirk Fox, associate dean and associate director of WSU Extension, agreed.
“Michael will be able to pick up immediately on the projects of the Ruckelshaus Center and bring new and appropriate partners to the table,” she said. “It’s great to have him on our team.”
Kern, who was selected from a national pool of candidates, has almost 20 years of experience helping diverse groups reach common ground on public policy issues in Washington and the Pacific Northwest. He currently is senior associate at Seattle-based Triangle Associates, which provides facilitation and mediation, public involvement and education to resolve complex and often controversial natural resource management issues.
Kern is a member of the U.S. Institute for Environmental Conflict Resolution’s (ECR) National Roster of ECR Professionals, and has a Master of Public Administration degree from the University of Washington’s Evans School of Public Affairs. He has recently completed projects for the City of Seattle, Washington State Growth Management Hearings Boards, Washington State Department of Natural Resources, US Forest Service, National Park Service and others. He also provided facilitation and project management for the North Cascades Initiative, Hatchery Reform Project, and Hanford Openness Workshops.
“I am delighted to have the opportunity to work with the accomplished advisory board, faculty, staff and practitioners that the Ruckelshaus Center brings together,” said Kern. “I look forward to applying the resources available at Washington’s two flagship research universities to fostering collaborative policy in our state and region, and to building a center worthy of the legacy of Bill Ruckelshaus.”
Kern will assume his new responsibilities March 1. His office will be located at WSU West in Seattle.