Former U.S. Secretary of Department of the Interior and Colorado Senator, Ken Salazar, will keynote at Jewish National Fund’s (JNF) National Conference in Denver, Colorado on October 28, 2013, speaking on the topic, Water: The Lifeblood of Nations.
Appointed by President Obama in January 2009, Salazar served as the 50th Secretary of the Interior for over four years until April 2013 , directing a vast agency responsible for managing the nation’s resources, including water, fish, wildlife, mining, public lands and national parks, onshore and offshore energy development on public lands and primary responsibility for the federal relationship with American Indians. During his term, some of his significant achievements have included: establishing a five-year plan for oil and gas exploration and development in America’s offshore waters, revolutionizing renewable energy for America’s public lands, created the first offshore wind energy plan for the Atlantic Ocean, built new national parks and 10 new national wildlife refuges, launched a new strategy to pursue a sustainable water supply for the U.S., received first-ever approval of a utility scale solar project on tribal lands, and many more.
Salazar’s roots began in Colorado, where he also made an impact and has returned following his cabinet term. He is now a partner at the nationally and internationally prestigious Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP, recently opening a Denver office. Prior to his appointment with the U.S. Department of the Interior, Salazar served as the Colorado State Attorney General from 1999 to 2005, where he led efforts to make communities safer, fight crime, strengthen the state’s sex offender laws, address youth and family violence, enhance and enforce Colorado’s consumer protection laws, combat fraud against the elderly, and protect Colorado’s environment. In 2004, Salazar declared his candidacy for the U.S. Senate seat, becoming the first Hispanic U.S. Senator since 1977. During his delegation from 2005 to 2009, Salazar helped lead the passage of several significant acts and passed some of the most noteworthy energy bills in decades.
Prior to his political and legal professional achievements, Salazar began his career as legal counsel for previous Colorado Governor, Director of the Colorado Department of Natural Resources, and also created the Youth in Natural Resources program to provide for environmental education in public schools.
Ken Salazar has been to Colorado and the United States what JNF is to Israel – a steward of the land,” said Harold Kaplan, JNF Parsons Water Fund Board of Directors member. “He has also been a strong friend and supporter of Israel throughout his public career. His keynote is very relevant for JNF and globally, and as a JNF Parsons Water Fund board member, I’m honored that he is dedicating his time and knowledge to this year’s JNF National Conference.”
Held at the Grand Hyatt Denver from October 25-28, the JNF National Conference will highlight some of the world’s most influential people and will include sessions featuring Israel’s top leaders, JNF’s vital work that is transforming the lives of Israel’s residents, and Israel’s contributions that are making the world a better place. More than 500 community leaders from around the country will hear from experts during the weekend event described as “the conference of a lifetime.”
Participants will also hear from such notables as Governor John Hickenlooper; Gordon Zacks, Businessman, Author and Former Presidential Advisor; Naty Barak, Chief Sustainability Officer of Netafim; Amir Peretz, Israel Minister of Environmental Protection; David Lehrer, Director of The Arava Institute for Environmental Studies; and many more. The Sunday evening gala will feature entertainment from Hagit Yaso, Israeli Idol Winner and International Star along with remarks by JNF Chairman of the Board, Ronald S. Lauder.