Editor's note: This updates with comment from NPCA.
National Parks Conservation Association President Tom Kiernan, who three years ago was ready to leave the park advocacy group to head a charity in New Hampshire, has been hired as chief executive officer of the American Wind Energy Association.
The association's board of directors voted unanimously to hire Mr. Kiernan, who has been with NPCA for 15 years.
On May 28, he will officially take the helm at AWEA, the national trade association representing American wind power interests and more than 1,200 companies across the U.S. and around the world.
The announcement was made by the chair of AWEA's Board of Directors, Tom Carnahan.
"Bringing Tom Kiernan aboard as CEO represents a huge win for AWEA and another step forward in our efforts to elevate wind energy's role as a critical national resource," said Mr. Carnahan in a prepared statement.
"Tom brings the right combination of bipartisan, practical experience at the national and state levels as well as in small, rural communities where wind energy is most often developed. His respected management style and significant executive abilities, combined with his skills as a communicator, will ensure that AWEA's voice and potential are leveraged not only in Washington but, even more importantly, in the communities in which our members operate," added the board chairman.
"I am honored and excited to take on this role at such a critical time in our nation's history," Mr. Kiernan said. 'With wind energy building over 40 percent of new electrical generation in the U.S. last year, the massive public support for more renewable energy, and the recent extension of the Production Tax Credit (PTC) by Congress and the President, we have a unique opportunity to work together to make wind energy a more integral part of our national energy portfolio."
Mr. Kiernan will remain with NPCA until May 22nd to ensure a smooth transition of leadership. NPCA’s Board of Trustees is forming a search committee and will be hiring a national search firm to assist in the selection process for his successor.
“While the board is deeply saddened to lose Tom after 15 great years leading NPCA, we fully understand and respect his desire to pursue new challenges,” said Tom Secunda, chairman of NPCA’s Board of Trustees.
Before heading NPCA, Mr. Kiernan served as president of the Audubon Society of New Hampshire and was a senior-level official in the EPA's Office of Air and Radiation under President George H.W. Bush, where he won the Gold Medal for his role in achieving consensus with businesses and environmentalists on a $450 million pollution-control project at Grand Canyon National Park. He has also held positions with the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality and with Arthur Andersen & Company.