Brandi Colander Joins National Wildlife Federation

Will Serve as Associate Vice President of Natural Resources and Energy

Washington, DC – The National Wildlife Federation, America’s largest wildlife conservation and education organization, has announced that Brandi Colander will serve as the organization’s Associate Vice President of Natural Resources and Energy. In this role, she will provide vital cross organizational leadership and policy expertise on a range of natural resource and energy issues, managing a core federal team focused on advancing these priority areas on behalf of the Federation.
“Throughout her career, Brandi Colander has demonstrated an uncanny ability to bring together Republicans and Democrats to forge common-sense bipartisan solutions to seemingly intractable natural resource challenges,” said Collin O’Mara, President and CEO of the National Wildlife Federation. “At the Department of the Interior and the White House, Brandi improved the management of our public lands, helped restore degraded habitat, and accelerated the deployment of wildlife-friendly renewable energy. She is a world-class expert on the natural resource challenges facing our nation and uniquely combines policy expertise with political pragmatism to accomplish great things for our communities. We are thrilled to welcome her to our team.”

Prior to joining the National Wildlife Federation, Colander served as the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Land and Minerals Management (ASLM) at the United States Department of the Interior. ASLM is responsible for the four energy development bureaus that consist of the Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement and the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement. Colander served as the project manager on key natural resource and energy priorities for the Administration, developed policy, advanced regulations and served as a liaison with the White House and other federal agencies.

“To solve the biggest conservation challenges facing America, we need to bring together people from all walks of life and all political persuasions to find common ground-which is the approach of the National Wildlife Federation. The Federation and its affiliates have an unparalleled rich and deep history of connecting people to nature uniquely enabling them to advance innovative bipartisan solutions during these fractured political times,” said Colander. “I am excited to join the team and look forward to working in partnership with our affiliates, the conservation community, regulators and industry to conserve and protect our natural resources.”

Colander began her career in public service as the Deputy General Counsel for the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ). CEQ is charged with upholding the tenets of the National Environmental Policy Act and facilitating interagency coordination among federal agencies in the development of environmental and energy policies and initiatives. During this time, she advised principals and staff on legal aspects of CEQ actions, statutory and regulatory interpretations, drafted Executive Orders and Presidential Memoranda in coordination with cooperating agencies, represented the Council in advancing the Administration’s infrastructure efforts, and assisted in the resolution of interagency disputes regarding energy, the environment and natural resources. 

Prior to joining the Executive Office of the President, Colander was an attorney with the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), an international environmental non-profit headquartered in New York City. Working with NRDC’s Air & Energy group, her expertise in energy policy focused on industry restructuring and utility regulation, energy efficiency, the “smart grid” and renewable energy programs-of particular note, offshore wind. In this role, Colander also served as the project manager of the Facebook/NRDC/Opower social energy initiative to enhance energy literacy and influence energy consumption behavior and, a website developed to enable New York City resident to purchase renewable energy through renewable energy credits.

Colander earned her Master’s degree at Yale University, Juris Doctor at Vermont Law School and Bachelor’s degree from the University of Virginia. She serves on the board of the Yale University School of Forestry and Environmental Studies.

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