Jan 052011
Authors: Madeline Novey

When Gov. Bill Ritter removes his gubenatorial hat on Tuesday, he will head back to his alma mater to head a new national policy center at Colorado State University, CSU President Tony Frank announced today.

Ritter, who earned his bachelor’s degree in political science from CSU, will become the director of the Center for the New Energy Economy and senior scholar within CSU’s School of Global Environmental Sustainability, known as SoGES. He will start in his new position on Feb. 1.

The San Francisco-based Energy Foundation and the Fort Collins-based Bohemian Foundation will initially fund the Center for the New Energy Economy, including salaries, according to a press release from CSU Public Relations. Other organizations interested in long-term funding of the center have been in conversations with the university, the release said.

“The New Energy Economy is now synonymous with Colorado,” Gov. Ritter said in the release, “and the Center for the New Energy Economy will serve as a national leader as we move toward a future in which our children will produce and consume energy far differently than we do today. This new Center will help address three key challenges for America: economic security, energy security and environmental security.

“It will facilitate science-based policy, research, and education to support the growth of clean energy in Colorado, the nation and the world. This is also a natural partnership that allows me to combine two of my passions –– higher education and the New Energy Economy –– and is something of a homecoming for me.”

Frank emphasized that the new facility will create jobs and foster a healthy political economy under Ritter’s leadership, which has been highlighted by a commitment by Colorado to developing green energy solutions and environmental research.

“Land grant universities such as CSU have always been strongly linked to the economic vitality of their states,” Frank said in the release. “Clean and renewable energy is a new economic frontier, and it’s important for Colorado and our country that we continue to position ourselves as leaders in this emerging economy. This policy center –– under Gov. Ritter’s leadership –– will help build essential partnerships around research-based clean energy solutions, workforce development and advancement of technologies that will fuel long-term, sustainable economic growth.”

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