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Message from the Director

Michael KernThose of us who live in the State of Washington and the Pacific Northwest are extremely fortunate to do so. Our part of the world is special in so many ways. Our landscapes are diverse and spectacular. They support fish, wildlife and plant species that we treasure. They provide recreational opportunities so abundant that only the most active among us can even scratch the surface of what is available. Our urban and rural communities are vibrant and varied, each with its own special character. Our growing population contains some of the most creative thinkers, diligent workers, and action-oriented “doers” on the planet. Our citizenry is ethnically diverse, with both new arrivals from across the world and tribes who have stewarded this place since time immemorial. All this helps our culture and economy remain strong.

We are also fortunate to have a recent history of finding ways to work together to solve common problems. Though it may not always feel that way to us, we are looked at as a national and international model for using collaborative processes, methods and tools to address policy challenges. Our region is home to many talented practitioners and numerous case studies of stakeholders, governments and others sitting down to work out important issues based on the needs of all involved, rather than individual advantage.

Finally, we are fortunate to have community and academic leaders, faculty and staff who understand the value and importance of ensuring that the myriad assets available at the State’s two research universities—the University of Washington and Washington State University—are used to support informed and collaborative public policy decision-making. Those assets come together at the William D. Ruckelshaus Center.

Through its Advisory Board and other forums, the Ruckelshaus Center provides a venue for community leaders from across geographic, political and other sectors to interact with university leaders, policy makers, faculty, staff and each other, to identify opportunities for making progress on important issues. The Center responds by assembling teams from the Universities to provide applied research, fact-finding, facilitation, mediation, project management, training and other services that help make collaborative approaches possible.

The Center takes its vision from that of its founder and Advisory Board Chair Emeritus, William D. Ruckelshaus, and strives to maintain a level of focus and clarity that matches his own. For us, it’s all about promoting and preserving the quality of life in our treasured part of the world by fostering collaborative solutions that are more satisfying and longer-lasting. We hope you will join us in that effort.

Michael Kern with Butch the Cougar Michael Kern with Harry the Husky
Michael Kern Signature
Michael Kern
The William D. Ruckelshaus Center