Christian Mitchell Joins GPI’s Board of Directors

The Great Plains Institute announced that Christian Mitchell, vice president for civic engagement at the University of Chicago, has joined its board. Mitchell’s rich experience in state government as both an elected and appointed official and his roots as a community organizer bring valuable perspectives to GPI’s board as the organization works to accelerate the transition to net zero carbon emissions for the benefit of people, the economy, and the environment.

“We are thrilled to welcome Christian to our board,” GPI President and CEO Rolf Nordstrom said. “His already distinguished career as a public servant in Illinois has seen him lead on the broad and complex issues that we specialize in, helping deliver for communities across the country. His key role in IL’s nation-leading Climate & Equitable Jobs Act is a striking recent example. He knows what success looks like and what it takes to bring a wide-ranging group of stakeholders to the table and engage them to deliver change. Christian’s leadership and keen sense of strategy will enhance our efforts in addressing climate change and building an equitable net-zero carbon economy.”

Mitchell served as deputy governor for Public Safety, Energy, and Infrastructure in the Pritzker administration and, before that, represented the 26th District in the Illinois House of Representatives. As deputy governor, he oversaw several state agencies, including the Department of Transportation, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Illinois Power Agency, and the Illinois Commerce Commission. In his current role with the University of Chicago, he is growing civic engagement across the institution and developing community and corporate partnerships to support economic opportunity for the south side of Chicago and the broader region.

“Christian’s background, life experience and intellect will be invaluable to our board at this especially exciting time of growth and change,” GPI board chair Priti Patel said. “As GPI begins its next 25 years, achieving our vision of an equitable net zero carbon economy will only be possible with the help of thoughtful, civic-minded leaders who can help us build on our track record of success and strategically maximize our reach and impact. We are grateful to Christian for being one of them and helping to chart GPI’s ambitious course.”

“It’s an honor to join the Great Plains Institute’s board, an organization creating the system conditions for hastening clean energy deployment and growing the opportunity for economic prosperity in a net zero carbon economy for all people,” Mitchell said. “We are in a moment of monumental opportunity, and I look forward to contributing my experience to the Great Plains Institute’s mission and helping drive positive change.”

Mitchell joins a diverse board, representing nonprofits, energy technology, energy policy, utility, and philanthropic perspectives nationwide. His term began on April 1.

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