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eNews Spring 2016

Posted by | May 18, 2016

The mission of the William D. Ruckelshaus Center is to act as a neutral resource for collaborative problem solving in the State of Washington and the Pacific Northwest. The Center provides expertise to improve the quality and availability of voluntary collaborative approaches for policy development and multi-party dispute resolution. The Center is a joint effort of Washington’s two research universities.

Support the Center

Supporting the Center is a tax-deductible investment in the quality of life in our state and region. Donations qualify for donor credit at WSU and/or UW.

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 The William D. Ruckelshaus Center’s electronic newsletter (eNews) is published two to four times per year. If you know of someone who might be interested in receiving this eNews, please forward it to them. If you wish to be removed from the list or would like to subscribe, please email us.

Save the Date: 2016 Chairman’s Circle LuncheonDavid Domke

Professor David Domke, Chair of the UW Department of Communications, and one of the nation’s foremost experts on elections and racial and religious identity in American politics, will speak at this year’s Chairman’s Circle Luncheon on Wednesday, September 7th.

The event is entitled A Courageous Moment: the 2016 Election and the Future of America. Professor Domke will discuss how our nation’s increasing diversity has affected this year’s election and how we can work together to address these issues. If you wish to sponsor a table or attend the event, contact Development & Communications Coordinator, Erin McCarthy at, or (206) 219-2418.

A airplane taking off

Helping Sustainable Jet Fuel Take Flight: The Northwest Advanced Renewables Alliance (NARA)

The Center completes its facilitation and communication services in July for a five-year, $40 million effort by WSU, UW and others to develop technically, environmentally, and financially viable aviation biofuels from wood residue. The project will meet all its major goals and deliverables, including 1,000 gallons of wood-based jet fuel to power a demonstration flight by Alaska Airlines this fall. More information


Addressing Agriculture in a Changing Climate

WSU’s Center for Sustaining Agriculture and Natural Resources asked the Center to facilitate a three-day workshop among research institutions, state and federal agencies, and agriculture producers on how to collectively meet agriculture needs related to climate change mitigation and adaptation in the Pacific Northwest. Outcomes will inform a white paper to coordinate regional research, information, implementation, and monitoring efforts. Workshop participants stated that they came away from the conference with a greater understanding of whom to collaborate with, stating “I learned a lot through listening to other ideas, opinions and needs. I leave now with a different perspective.”

Meet the Staff

The Center recently welcomed four new faces. Autumn Fielding, most recently at the Hanford Concerns Council, fills in as Administrative and Project Coordinator while Molly Stenovec is on leave. Interns Trevor Robinson (UW Evans School of Public Policy and Governance) and Anna Mikkelborg (UW Law, Society and Justice) work on our Walla Walla Water Initiative Evaluation and Snohomish Health District Assessment, respectively. Finally, Kevin Harris has now become our Senior Associate for Health Care Policy as we roll out our Collaborative Healthcare Policy Initiative. Welcome Autumn, Trevor, Anna and Kevin; we are so glad to have you with us!

Help Tell the Ruckelshaus Story

Have you worked with the Ruckelshaus Center? Seen or befitted from our efforts to help others solve problems collaboratively? If so, we’d love your feedback! Your voice and opinion can help us spread our message, and elevate civil discourse in the Pacific Northwest. Send your thoughts directly or request a phone or in-person conversation.

“Next Gen” Focus at Spring Board Meeting & Community ReceptionThree people talking about a standing table.

On April 29th, the Center held its bi-annual Advisory Board meeting at the UW Center for Urban Horticulture. The meeting centered on Engaging the Next Generation of Collaborative Leaders, and featured emerging leaders from the healthcare, law, public policy, and community development sectors. A compelling panel discussion gave way to a lively reception for students, faculty, and young professionals to discuss the tenor of civil public discourse in our state, region, and nation. More information about the Center’s focus on civil public discourse (pdf).

Support the Ruckelshaus Center!

The year 2016 is off to a great start, as we work with new sectors and build upon relationships with those committed to the mission of the Center. Investments by individuals such as you, who believe in collaborative solutions, enable the Center to facilitate consensus on complex, longstanding challenges. Please consider contributing to our annual fund, or helping us reach the final $1 million of our $5 million Endowment for Excellence goal. Contact Erin McCarthy at (206) 219-2418, or at if you have questions or want more information.