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Liesl Eichler Clark
Liesl Eichler Clark has served as director of the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) since January 2019. She oversees a $500 million budget that supports a 1,300-person team dedicated to protecting Michigan’s environment and public health.
Nestled in the heart of the world’s greatest freshwater ecosystem, EGLE has a unique regulatory role in ensuring that the Great Lakes and Michigan’s inland waters remain the vital cultural, recreational, ecological, and economic engines of the region. The agency also regulates air quality, waste management, drinking water, groundwater, oil and gas extraction, and contaminated site remediation.
Liesl led a reorganization of EGLE that elevated Michigan’s commitment to environmental justice, climate mitigation and resilience, clean drinking water, and the Great Lakes. The newly created offices of Environmental Justice Public Advocate, Clean Water Public Advocate, and Climate and Energy – as well as the longstanding Office of the Great Lakes – now are housed in the EGLE executive office with Liesl and her deputies.
Expanding and improving EGLE’s internal and external communications is a major focus for Liesl as she strives to support and inspire the EGLE team, engage stakeholders, meet communities where they are, and better share EGLE’s work with Michigan’s 10 million residents – whom she refers to as her “10 million bosses.”
Liesl chairs the Council on Climate Solutions and UP Energy Task Force and serves on the Council on Future Mobility, Michigan Poverty Task Force, and Michigan Dam Safety Task Force, among others. She supported the establishment of the Michigan Advisory Council on Environmental Justice, participates in the meetings, and regularly engages with its members.
As the Region 5 representative and Environmental Justice Steering Committee member for the Environmental Council of the States, Liesl helps the national nonpartisan group of agency leaders steer a course toward improved protection of the environment and human health.
Liesl served the administration of former Gov. Jennifer Granholm in a variety of roles focused on food, energy, and water. Her final position in the administration was deputy director at the Michigan Department of Energy, Labor, and Economic Growth (DELEG).
Upon leaving DELEG in 2009, Liesl continued to serve as one of Michigan’s leading clean energy catalysts as co-founder and partner of 5 Lakes Energy, a policy consulting firm that empowers businesses, policymakers, and other stakeholders seeking to accelerate the transition to a sustainable, carbon neutral economy.
While at 5 Lakes, she was instrumental in the launch of Michigan’s first trade association dedicated to the emerging clean energy industry: the Michigan Energy Innovation Business Council (EIBC). While serving as EIBC’s director, Liesl built strong relationships among the clean energy business community and state and federal policymakers while collaborating with energy experts and regulators to spearhead innovative energy policy.
Liesl earned a bachelor’s degree in political economy and international relations from James Madison College at Michigan State University (MSU) and a Master of Public Administration degree from MSU.
She lives in Livingston County with her husband, their two sons, and Bella the Polish lowland sheepdog, who is fond of interrupting video meetings. She is working to hike every trail within 50 miles of home, to see more of Michigan’s natural treasures, and to spend more time “in the field” with her 1,300 colleagues when circumstances allow.