Environment Picture
Topic: Great Lakes

President Obama selects Lana Pollack to International Joint Commission post

Former MEC president will oversee resource protection and resolve disputes over U.S./Canada boundary waters
Former Michigan Environmental Council President Lana Pollack has been appointed by President Barack Obama as nominee for Commissioner on the International Joint Commission according to the White House press office.

The commission has three commissioners each from the United States and Canada It is designed to facilitate cooperation, resource protection and resolve disputes and treaty enforcement over boundary waters between the two countries.

Pollack’s nomination must be confirmed by the U.S. Senate to become official. Pollack is a former Michigan state senator and served as MEC president for 12 years through the end of 2008.

The White House posted the following biography:

A Michigan native, Lana Pollack was elected three times to the Michigan legislature, serving as a state Senator from 1983-1994. Following her tenure in public office, she served from 1996-2008 as President of the Michigan Environmental Council, a coalition of 70 environmental organizations working to protect North America’s Great Lakes and Michigan’s natural resources and environment.

As a state Senator, Ms. Pollack became a leading advocate for women, children and the environment. In this capacity, she earned praise as the architect of Michigan’s landmark 1990 polluter pay statute which, before it was repealed in 1995, saved taxpayers $100 million by requiring proven polluters to pay for the cleanup of toxic waste.

In addition to these roles, Ms. Pollack was a Fellow at the Institute of Politics at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government, taught at the University of Michigan, was elected a trustee of the Ann Arbor Board of Education, and served on a number of educational, non-profit and corporate boards. Among these boards, Ms. Pollack currently chairs the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund Board, which annually directs $35-50 million in discretionary public funds to protect, purchase and enhance parkland and open space for preservation and recreation.

She has also served on the boards of NextEnergy (which promotes the development and commercialization of technologies advancing a low-carbon economy), ReCellular (the world’s largest recycler of cell phones) and the University of Michigan’s Graham Environmental Sustainability Institute.

Ms. Pollack, who grew up on the shores of Lake Michigan in the town of Ludington, earned a BA in political science from the University of Michigan (U-M) in 1965, and an MA in Education from U-M in 1970.
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