Michigan’s ex-chief environmental regulator lands UM climate job

The former head of Michigan’s environmental department was named the University of Michigan’s first director of sustainable climate action engagement, the university announced Tuesday.

Liesl Eichler Clark will connect UM’s sustainability researchers with external partners to accelerate climate action in Michigan and beyond, according to the university.

Those partnerships will make give higher education more impact and allow the UM to help tackle the climate crisis, said Jonathan Overpeck, a climate scientist and the Samuel A. Graham dean at the university’s School for Environment and Sustainability.

Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy Director Liesl Eichler Clark, left, Detroit Water and Sewerage Department Director Gary Brown and Michigan Chief Infrastructure Officer Zachary Kolodin, in background, tour of the Rouge Park stormwater retention project in Detroit, Michigan on Oct. 17, 2022.

“It’s time for universities to build out beyond their own carbon neutrality goals, which are critically important, and look at the broader landscape of how we can make a lasting difference in the state of Michigan,” Overpeck said in a staement. “Clark will play an instrumental role in developing the new initiative from the ground up, putting environmental justice and equity at the core.”

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