Matt Kaplan to Lead New Great Lakes Authority

May 5, 2024

© Douglas / Adobe Stock
© Douglas / Adobe Stock

The White House has nominated Matt Kaplan to serve as the first federal co-chair of the Great Lakes Authority (GLA).

The GLA was authorized by Congress in 2022 and will be governed by a nine-member board, with one member appointed by the President, and one appointed by each of the Governors of the eight Great Lakes states. The new federal agency will promote regional economic development. 

Earlier this year, Congress appropriated $5 million to begin the process of standing up the organization. The Biden Administration has requested an additional $5 million for the program in FY2025.

Kaplan has been a long-time advocate of Great Lakes ports, shipping, economic development and environmental protection. As a longtime member of Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur's (D-OH-09) staff, Kaplan worked extensively on advancing the interests of the entire Great Lakes region in Congress and throughout the federal government.

Kaplan was a key advisor to Congresswoman Kaptur in her leadership of the Energy and Water Appropriations Subcommittee, the Bipartisan and Bicameral Great Lakes Task Force, and in drafting the legislation to create the Great Lakes Authority. In that role, he worked with stakeholders from industry, labor, academia, and communities across the Great Lakes on issues such as managing invasive species, marshaling federal resources for economic development and developing alternative energy opportunities.

Kaplan also taught and mentored undergraduate students in a politics course at Oberlin College.

Kaplan currently serves as a Senior Attorney at the Natural Resources Defense Council where he coordinates federal strategy on regenerative agriculture. He previously served as an Honors Attorney at the U.S. Department of Justice, and as a law clerk for the senior judges of the District of Columbia Court of Appeals. He is a graduate of the University of the District of Columbia David A. Clarke School of Law and Oberlin College.
 

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