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Renowned Author to Conduct Oral History of Environmental Pioneer Bill Ruckelshaus

SEATTLE – Nationally renowned author and historian Douglas Brinkley has published extensively about America’s environmental history, featuring leaders such as Theodore Roosevelt, Ronald Reagan Jimmy Carter and Henry Ford. In early August, he will add another pioneer to his portfolio with an oral history with William D. Ruckelshaus, the first and fifth administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

The two will spend several days together in early August. Brinkley will include Ruckelshaus in his upcoming book on 1960-70s environmental policy.

Ruckelshaus currently serves as chairman of the advisory board for the William D. Ruckelshaus Center, which is jointly operated by the University of Washington and Washington State University. The mission of the center, created in 2004, is to act as a neutral resource for collaborative problem solving, providing expertise on voluntary approaches to policy development and multi-party dispute resolution, including environmental issues concerning.

“Bill Ruckelshaus has made a remarkable contribution to public service, corporate leadership and collaborative policy in the second half of the 20th Century and first decade of the 21st,” said center Director Michael Kern. “It is truly a gift us all to have a historian of Douglas Brinkley’s caliber helping Bill record his recollections for current and future scholars and authors.”

Brinkley’s work includes the widely-acclaimed “The Wilderness Warrior: Theodore Roosevelt and the Crusade for America” and the recently published “The Quiet World: Saving Alaska’s Wilderness Kingdom, 1879-1960.” He has written about a number of American leaders and conducted oral histories of Neil Armstrong, Stuart Udall and others. As part of his upcoming book on 1960-70s environmental policy, he will interview Ruckelshaus.

Ruckelshaus was the first and fifth director of the EPA. He was appointed acting director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and then served as deputy attorney general of the U.S. Department of Justice. He is a former senior vice president at Weyerhaeuser and chairman/CEO of Browning Ferris Industries, and currently is a strategic director at Madrona Venture Partners. He has led large-scale collaborative policy efforts on salmon recovery and Puget Sound cleanup. Ruckelshaus is a graduate, cum laude, of Princeton University and Harvard Law School.

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