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Erik Kulleseid Named New President & CEO of the Open Area Institute

NEW YORK CITY, NY (January 24, 2024)—The Open Area Institute (OSI) in the present day introduced that New York State Parks Commissioner Erik Kulleseid will function its subsequent President and CEO.

“The Open Area Institute enthusiastically welcomes Erik Kulleseid again to the OSI household,” mentioned OSI Board co-chairs John Adams and Amelia Salzman in a joint assertion. “After a rigorous nationwide search, we’re thrilled that Commissioner Kulleseid has accepted this management place. His lifelong dedication to conservation, efforts to broaden public entry to open house, strategic use of land safety methods to deal with local weather change and biodiversity loss, and his exemplary administration and management abilities make him the proper alternative to guide OSI into our subsequent period.”

The choice of Commissioner Kulleseid marks his return to OSI, one of many nation’s main land conservation organizations. Throughout his unique eight-year stint at OSI, Kulleseid oversaw the creation of OSI’s parks initiative aimed toward making protected land extra accessible and welcoming to all folks.

Commissioner Kulleseid will succeed Christopher “Kim” Elliman, who has led OSI since 2004 and has overseen dramatic programmatic and geographic enlargement all through the group. The management transition coincides with the group’s 50th anniversary. Since 1974, OSI has protected greater than 2.4 million acres of land all through the japanese United States and Canada.

“I couldn’t be extra excited by the chance to guide OSI, a corporation with an unbeatable file of on-the-ground outcomes, tremendously proficient folks, and a mission that aligns with my private ethic,” mentioned Kulleseid. “For many years OSI has been on the forefront of using progressive approaches to save lots of the land that issues most for our communities, wildlife, and the safety of important pure sources. There isn’t any finer group doing this work within the japanese U.S. and I’m honored to observe within the footsteps of Kim Elliman, John Adams, and plenty of others who’ve made OSI what it’s in the present day and set its course for nice success shifting ahead.”

“It has been a private {and professional} honor to guide OSI over the previous three many years and I’m excited to switch management of this extraordinary group to my good friend and former colleague, Erik Kulleseid,” mentioned Elliman. “Erik is aware of the land, he is aware of parks, and he’s terribly effectively versed within the challenges and options to environmental issues. I’m thrilled he will probably be heading up OSI.”

Kulleseid’s decades-long conservation profession has been constructed on defending land for public use and pure useful resource safety by means of adolescence on the Belief for Public Land and prior authorities service as Deputy Commissioner for Open Area Safety at New York State Parks. He has served as New York State Parks Commissioner since 2019.

His tenure as parks commissioner has been highlighted by his management of State Parks by means of the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, in addition to main capital initiatives together with the opening of Shirley Chisholm State Park in Brooklyn; creating a wide ranging, state-of-the-art welcome heart at Niagara Falls State Park; the brand new Jones Seashore Power & Nature Middle on Lengthy Island; the creation of the brand new Sojourner Reality State Park in Kingston; and the opening of the Autism Nature Path in Letchworth State Park, a first-of-its type path designed particularly for folks on the autism spectrum and their households. State Parks have set annual attendance data in yearly of his tenure.

At State Parks, Commissioner Kulleseid targeted on rebuilding New York’s unsurpassed state park system, increasing entry to the broadest cross-section of New Yorkers and guests, embracing new applied sciences and efficiencies, and fostering the industrial, nonprofit, and volunteer public-private partnerships which can be so essential for delivering the very best customer expertise attainable.

After Mr. Elliman’s announcement of his plans to retire in Could 2023, OSI’s Board of Trustees initiated a nationwide seek for a successor at the side of search agency Russell Reynolds Associates.

Concerning the Open Area Institute (OSI)

The Open Area Institute is a nationwide chief in land conservation and efforts to make parks and different protected land extra welcoming for all. Since 1974, OSI has partnered within the safety of greater than 2.4 million at-risk and environmentally delicate acres within the japanese U.S. and Canada. OSI’s land safety promotes clear air and water, improves entry to recreation, offers wildlife habitat, strengthens communities, and combats local weather change, whereas curbing its devastating results.