The Iowa Environmental Council’s board of directors has selected Ralph Rosenberg, former director of the Iowa Civil Rights Commission, as the organization’s executive director. He will join the Council full time beginning September 4.
“Ralph’s distinguished career of sensible public policy advocacy and coalition building made him a superior candidate for this position,” said board president Margi Weiss. “As a leader at public agencies, nonprofit organizations, and even in the Iowa legislature, Ralph has shown a proven capacity to bring Iowans together to take on important and sometimes challenging issues.”
Strengthening the Council’s coalition in support of good environmental stewardship will be Rosenberg’s top priority. “We can only be successful if we build upon the common ground that is found among most Iowans—that we have ethical, environmental, and economic imperatives to preserve our environment and natural resources,” he said.
Much of Rosenberg’s career has focused on advancing the public interest—including on environmental issues, and he brings a strong record of success to his new position.
He recently led the Iowa Civil Rights Commission, a state agency, as it expanded its outreach activities, established a new legal clinic, and successfully secured significant new federal funding. Prior to that, Rosenberg directed the Coalition for Family and Children’s Services in Iowa, a membership association of 32 public and private agencies serving at-risk children and families. He also co-founded a statewide nonpartisan institute for emerging leaders in all three branches of Iowa’s government.
As a member of the Iowa legislature, Rosenberg was a leader in a bipartisan group of lawmakers who successfully enacted a series of landmark bills, including Iowa’s Groundwater Protection Act and a major energy efficiency law, both of which served as models for other states.
His work on energy and environmental issues earned him accolades from the National Center for Policy Alternatives. He has been recognized by the Council of State Governments for his work establishing innovative state and local partnerships, and received legislator of the year honors from the Iowa Chapter of the Sierra Club, the Izaak Walton League, and the Wildlife Society.
Rosenberg’s first opportunity to interact personally with a large group of the Council’s supporters and the public will come when he welcomes guests to the Iowa Environmental Council’s conference, “Finding Iowa’s Way: Economic Solutions for a Healthier Environment,” to be held Oct. 4 in Des Moines. Information about the event is available on the Council’s website, iaenvironment.org.