James Eklund Selected as CWCB Director

James Eklund, senior deputy legal counsel for the Governor and a former assistant state attorney general, has been selected as the new director of the Colorado Water Conservation Board. Eklund, selected by the CWCB’s governing board and the executive director of the Colorado Department of Natural Resources, will lead the state’s water policy and planning efforts, including the development of a statewide water plan as outlined in a recent Executive Order from Governor John Hickenlooper. “James is the right leader at the right time to take on this critical project,” said Mike King, executive director of the Colorado Department of Natural Resources. “He brings experience, purpose and a clear-sighted approach that’s vital as Colorado addresses the ever-tougher challenges of natural resource protection and water allocation in an ever-growing state.” 

Eklund is a fifth-generation Coloradan from the Western Slope, has been deeply engaged in key legislative and legal matters, often pertaining to water and natural resources including state water rights, the reorganization of state wildfire responsibilities, and groundwater concerns. While at the Attorney General’s office from 2006 to 2010, James provided legal expertise on many issues central to water policy and planning in Colorado. He represented the Colorado Department of Natural Resources, CWCB, and the State Engineer’s Office in compact negotiations with other western states, the federal government, and Mexico. In addition, he provided counsel related to compliance with the Endangered Species Act and water quality laws, and worked in several roles to protect state interests on the Colorado River. "I look forward to working with water leaders statewide to solve our significant water challenges," Eklund said. "We are positioned to do so as a direct result of outstanding work by CWCB staff and former director Jennifer Gimbel." Congratulations James!