OEC’s New Executive Director: Jana Gastellum
A message from Phil Wu, OEC Board President:
On behalf of OEC’s board of directors, I’m delighted for this opportunity to share the good news that, after conducting an extensive national search, we have voted unanimously to select Jana Gastellum as OEC’s new Executive Director, effective October 1.
Jana led OEC’s Climate Program for a decade and for the past two years, all our program work. Since December, she has also been a key member of a staff Leadership Team that has guided OEC during this transition period, including the development of our new strategic plan. Our plan affirms OEC’s commitment to creating more resilient communities that protect people and ecosystems from climate change, drought, flooding and toxic chemicals.
“I love OEC, our dynamic staff and our dedicated community of supporters. I know first hand how important OEC’s work is and what it takes to make a difference. It is a privilege to be a part of OEC’s long history of accomplishments and the positive impact we’ve had on Oregon. I am continually drawn to OEC not only because of what we do – meaningful, equitable environmental protection – but also how we do it. We do everything with head and heart, strategy and passion. And we do it all with a spirit of collaboration, which is more critical than ever.” – Jana Gastellum
Our search firm, the 360 Group, identified 20 highly qualified candidates from across the U.S. and interviewed four finalists. Jana rose to the top because of her deep knowledge of the issues OEC is working on, the strategies needed to create successful change, her impressive coalition building, fundraising, communications and other skills, and her deep personal commitment to advancing diversity, equity and inclusion. Our new 2021-22 Impact Report highlights how Jana’s leadership of the OEC Program Team has recently resulted in important new public policies and programs, including several that are nationally significant.
Jana has had a lifelong commitment to protecting the environment, having grown up living in National Parks throughout the desert Southwest and Pacific Northwest, including time at Ganado on the Diné Nation (Navajo Reservation). She has a B.S. and M.S. from Stanford in Earth Systems, spent two years doing climate science at the University of Michigan, and then worked in Washington, D.C. for several years as part of the UN Foundation/Energy Future Coalition climate team. During her time in D.C., she helped launch the 25x’25 initiative and learned the power of coalition building through rural renewable energy development.
She joined OEC in 2010 as our Climate Program Director. Working with public health and clean energy businesses, she secured and defended the Clean Fuels Program, one of Oregon’s signature climate programs. She helped launch the ambitious Renew Oregon campaign that put climate back on the legislature’s priority list and led to state agency action ranging from protecting workers from dangerous heat and smoke to advances in electric vehicle programs. She’s built relationships with public health, local government, community, environmental justice, labor, business and legislative leaders.
When she’s not working, Jana enjoys biking with her husband and two daughters, hiking, trying new recipes and dabbling in art, along with playing with Veggie, their covid-kitty.
Jana’s deep compassion for both people and the planet is a powerful combination that we believe will serve OEC well in the coming years. Some of you have already met Jana, and we will be working to create in-person and virtual opportunities for you, as well as those that have yet to meet her, to connect with her in her new role.
“Our issues are urgent and important and I wake up every day excited to do this work with resolve and optimism and to build on the momentum that OEC has established. This idea has guided my career: your vocation should be the intersection between the world’s greatest need and your greatest joy. That is OEC to me.” – Jana Gastellum