CHESTER, NJ—Lisa J. Plevin, former Chief of Staff for Region 2 of the US Environmental Protection Agency, will become Executive Director of the Highlands Council.

“We couldn’t be more thrilled to have someone with Lisa’s legacy of environmental leadership to lead the Highlands Council,” said Ed Potosnak, Executive Director of New Jersey League of Conservation Voters. “She has a long history of fighting against polluters and preserving New Jersey’s natural resources, and I have no doubt she will continue that fight in her new role."

In 2004, the Highlands Water Protection and Planning Act was passed to protect the Highlands from the piecemeal development patterns that were consuming 5 square miles of Highlands forests and wetlands each year. The Highlands Council’s primary goal is to protect the Highlands, a physiographic region that provides water for more than 6.2 million people, more than 70% of New Jersey’s population.

Plevin will serve as Executive Director, advising the Council on its actions and overseeing the operations of planners, science experts, geographic information specialists, and administrative personnel.

“Too often past administrations have appointed members with no specialized knowledge of the Highlands who often tried to advance an anti-environmental agenda,” said Ed Potosnak. “It is so important for the Council to have a leader that will uphold the intent of the 2004 Highlands Act—Lisa Plevin is that leader.”

Plevin’s experience in environmental policy started after she graduated with a B.S. in Environmental Science from Richard Stockton College. While working with Clean Water Action, her organizing and advocacy efforts helped pass the Clean Water Enforcement Act, the first state law to call for criminal penalties for violations of the Water Pollution Act. Plevin also worked for U.S. Senator Frank Lautenberg in 1990, then again in 2003, as his senior advisor and liaison on New Jersey and regional environmental issues, projects, and organizations. Senator Lautenberg championed many landmark environmental laws, and was a leading advocate for the 2004 Highlands Conservation Act.

Plevin then served as chief of staff for Region 2 of the U.S. EPA under President Obama, working on a wide variety of environmental programs and projects impacting New Jersey. After her time at the EPA, she spearheaded a collaborative effort for the New Jersey League of Conservation Voters Education Fund, Environmental Agenda ’18, which provided recommendations to the Governor on key environmental projects and policies. She then went on to serve as Deputy Director for the Environment and Energy Transition Committee for Governor-elect Phil Murphy.

New Jersey League of Conservation Voters is a non-partisan organization whose mission is to elect environmental champions, hold public officials accountable, and support laws which protect our environment and improve the quality of people’s lives.