President Obama and EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson have tapped Cam Davis, most recently President of the Alliance for the Great Lakes, for a position that most people will simply call “Great Lakes Czar.” Officially, Cam has been appointed by Administrator Jackson as Senior Advisor on the Great Lakes. While the position will be with the EPA, Cam will be working with numerous agencies to coordinate and implement the Great Lakes restoration work. This appointment fulfills President Obama’s campaign promise to “designate a Great Lakes Coordinator in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to prioritize coordination of Federal, State and Local Agencies’ agendas, policies, expertise, funds and staff.”
Cam has been a good friend and colleague since the mid-1990’s, when we both worked at the National Wildlife Federation’s Great Lakes office in Ann Arbor. He is incredibly skilled at crafting a vision for environmental solutions and communicating the importance of environmental protection. He has a wealth of experience - primarily leading environmental advocacy organizations and programs, but also within government agencies. He brings people together, listens to different opinions, and can find common ground in seemingly competing perspectives and agendas. The job he’s taking is a tough one, essentially moving different bureaucracies in all levels of government towards a shared goal of Great Lakes restoration. But Cam knows and loves the Great Lakes like few others, and with the President’s support he’ll be a tremendous advocate for Great Lakes restoration within the federal government.