Central Oregon LandWatch announces new executive director

Central Oregon LandWatch has announced Ben Gordon as the non-profit’s new Executive Director.

“After a very thorough search, the Board is thrilled to welcome Ben to lead LandWatch into the future,” said Adam Albright, Board Chair. “As we celebrate our 35th year of defending our natural environment and building healthy communities, we are confident Ben has the vision and experience to guide LandWatch in its next phase.”

Ben joins LandWatch after eight years with the Bend-based Oregon Natural Desert Association where he led ONDA’s stewardship and restoration efforts and spearheaded campaigns to permanently protect vital wildlife habitat in the John Day River Basin. He will officially begin his new role with LandWatch on June 1st, 2020.

Ben has dedicated his career to conservation, and his variety of experiences deepen his love of Central Oregon’s landscape and his commitment to advocating for a sustainable future. His belief in thoughtful planning to benefit us all led him to focus on working lands conservation as Outreach Coordinator for 1000 Friends of Oregon and to co-found the High Desert Food and Farm Alliance to make local food accessible to everyone.

He completed the Mid-Career Institute for Environmental Leadership at Seattle University, attended the TREC Senior Leadership Program, and received training from the Center for Diversity and Inclusion.

As Program Director for ONDA, he created the Tribal Stewards Program to help Oregon’s Native American young adults deepen their connection to their ancestral homeland, explore career pathways in the field of natural resources, and build marketable skills. This program received generous support from the Meyer Memorial Trust and has led numerous participants to pursue advanced degrees toward careers in natural resources.

“It is an honor to lead the Central Oregon LandWatch team of smart, passionate and seasoned staff of attorneys and advocates,” Gordon said. “I have long admired the strategic and dogged work of LandWatch to uphold the intent of Oregon’s visionary land use planning system so that proposed development does not infringe on the unparallelled quality of life we as Central Oregonians continue to enjoy. Further, having the opportunity to work alongside Paul Dewey, a person I admire greatly, to ensure a smooth leadership transition, is a dream come true. I’m thankful that Paul will remain involved with LandWatch through his work on special projects. His insights and knowledge are invaluable.”

Please join us in welcoming Ben as our new Executive Director. The Board of Directors is deeply committed to working with Ben to ensure his successful and visionary leadership as LandWatch enters its next chapter.


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