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EPA Appoints Jim Gulliford as Region 7 Administrator

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WASHINGTON  –Today, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt announced the appointment of Jim Gulliford of Missouri to become regional administrator for Region 7. Mr. Gulliford will oversee environmental protection efforts in: Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, and Nebraska. He previously held the position of regional administrator for Region 7 from 2001-2006.

Jim Gulliford most recently held the position of executive director of the Soil and Water Conservation Society where he led the organization from 2009-2016. He was responsible for all operation aspects of the non-profit organization that advocated for conservation professionals and for science-based conservation practices, programs, and policy. The organization’s mission is to foster the science and art of natural resource conservation on working land – land used to produce food, fiber, and other services that improve the quality of life people experience in rural and urban communities.

Prior to joining Soil and Water Conservation Society, Mr. Gulliford spent nearly a decade at EPA. From 2006-2009, he served as EPA assistant administrator for the Office of Prevention, Pesticides, and Toxic Substances where he was responsible for helping protect public health and the environment from potential risks of pesticides and chemicals. Mr. Gulliford also served as director of the Division of Soil Conservation at the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship for 15 years, where he was responsible for the development and management of soil conservation, water quality, and mine regulation for the state if Iowa.

“Jim Gulliford is unquestionably qualified to lead EPA Region 7,” said EPA Administration Scott Pruitt. “Not only has Jim dedicated his entire career to protecting the environment and ensuring healthier outcomes for Americans, but he has already demonstrated to be a competent leader for Region 7 during the Bush Administration.”

His nomination is receiving high accolades from across the region:

Joel Brinkmeyer, CEO, Agribusiness Association of Iowa: “The selection of Jim Gulliford for EPA’s Region 7 Administrator is a great choice by this administration in their efforts to accelerate environmental advancement while enhancing production agriculture.   Jim will be able to immediately step up to meet the challenges of the office due to his past successful leadership experience in this same position during the Bush Administration, followed by his experience in Washington DC in the office of Pesticides and Toxic Substances at EPA, and as the CEO for the National Soil and Water Conservation Society.  Jim has tremendous understanding of how soil and water resources can best benefit production agriculture, and enhance high quality food production without damaging the environment.   In fact, Jim understands that with the right tools and resources, positive impacts can be made to the environment as agriculture continues to improve the technology of modern food production systems.  Jim’s strong network of midwestern leaders and the scientific community, combined with his positive work ethic, will enhance working relationships with persons of diverse interests to the benefit of urban and rural citizens alike.

“I look forward to working with Administrator Gulliford through the Agribusiness Association of Iowa, and our members, to bring positive solutions to environmental and production challenges.” 

Jim Macy, Director, Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality: “EPA Region 7 will be well served by the appointment of Jim Gulliford.  Jim is a strong leader in conservation and will bring a voice of reason and cooperation for Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas, and Missouri. Nebraska DEQ is ready to work with Jim Gulliford to further improve Federal and State relationships in the true spirit of cooperative federalism.”

Rex Martin, Chairman of the Board, Soil and Water Conservation Society: “I have been very fortunate to have worked with Jim for many years including his former roles as EPA Region 7 Regional Administrator, U.S. EPA and as the Executive Director at the Soil and Water Conservation Society.  Jim has been successful at applying practical environmental practices on the ground based on sound science while allowing local stakeholder’s real world input to drive those activities.  Jim’s strong work ethic, integrity and transparency makes him an excellent choice for this leadership role.”

Steve Taylor, President and Executive Director, Missouri Agribusiness Association: “I am extremely pleased that Jim Gulliford is returning as administrator of EPA Region 7.  Over the past three decades, I have worked with Jim on a variety of issues and projects involving water quality and agriculture.  Over these years, Jim has been a valuable partner and he has understood the need to keep agriculture profitable as we protected the environment.  I look forward to once again working with Jim on the environmental issues that face agriculture today.”

Dr. Wendy Wintersteen, Dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Iowa State University: “Jim Gulliford brings a tremendous portfolio of knowledge, experience and highly competent leadership to the position of EPA Region 7 Administrator. His previous service on behalf of EPA allows him to step in and begin the vital responsibilities of the position immediately. Jim understands the complexity of environmental issues and the importance of collaboration and communication with partners and stakeholders. He leads with science to guide and ground his work, and that is a common foundation we share in how progress is made.”