On January 29, President Obama announced his intent to nominate Lana Pollack to be Commissioner for the International Joint Commission. The WH released the following official bio:
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this capacity, she earned praise as the architect of Michigan’s landmark 1990 polluter pay statute which, before it was repealed in 1995, saved taxpayers $100 million by requiring proven polluters to pay for the cleanup of toxic waste.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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On the IJC: The International Joint Commission prevents and resolves disputes between the United States of America and Canada under the 1909 Boundary Waters Treaty and pursues the common good of both countries as an independent and objective advisor to the two governments. In particular, the Commission rules upon applications for approval of projects affecting boundary or transboundary waters and may regulate the operation of these projects; it assists the two countries in the protection of the transboundary environment, including the implementation of the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement and the improvement of transboundary air quality; and it alerts the governments to emerging issues along the boundary that may give rise to bilateral disputes.