ALBANY, NY—July 1, 2015—The Open Space Institute today announced that New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Joe Martens will join the land conservation organization this summer. Martens, who spent more than four years serving in Governor Andrew Cuomo’s administration, will add his talent and expertise to OSI while focusing his efforts on national climate change policy.
In his new role, Martens will apply his vast experience to develop strategies for promoting the important role of smart and effective land conservation in combatting climate change. In addition to his policy work, Martens will continue a long-held personal and professional focus of improving environmental education and increasing recreational access. Commissioner Martens served as president of the Open Space Institute from 1998 through 2010.
“We are excited that Joe Martens is joining our OSI family,” said John Adams, Chairman of the OSI Board of Trustees. “We are extraordinarily proud of his many achievements as Governor Cuomo’s lead environmental advisor. As a deliberative and dedicated commissioner, he took on tough issues, worked to improve the operations of his department and responded to numerous weather-related emergencies and events with great confidence and skill. He has an impressive track record and a profound commitment to protecting our natural resources. We are lucky to have him!”
“Smart and effective land conservation has long been identified as an important tool in combatting the effects of climate change; establishing long-term strategies to protect our vital natural resources; and protecting key ecosystems and habitats,” said OSI president and CEO Kim Elliman. “Joe Martens’ voice and leadership will prove to be invaluable as we, as a nation, take on growing climate and environmental challenges. We enthusiastically welcome him to OSI and look forward to being part of the next chapter of his impressive career.”
“While it has been an honor, an education and a gift to serve Governor Cuomo and the people of the state as DEC Commissioner for the past four years, I am excited to rejoin my friends and colleagues at the Open Space Institute,” said Joe Martens. “OSI is an extraordinary conservation organization with a talented and dedicated board and staff and I am thrilled to have the opportunity to work with them.”