After serving in the interim role for more than a year and a half, Jonathan Koehn has been named Boulder’s ongoing director of climate initiatives.
Koehn, who has been part of Boulder’s climate team since 2006, played a role in Boulder’s quest to create a locally owned electric utility as well as its subsequent partnership with Xcel Energy.
Jonathan Koehn, named ongoing Director of the Climate Initiatives Department, poses for a portrait in Boulder on Feb. 24, 2022. (Matthew Jonas/Staff Photographer)
Under his leadership, Boulder’s climate department brought forth new, more aggressive climate targets and will this year ask voters whether they’ll approve a revamped climate tax that would pay for projects to help meet them.
“The challenge and the opportunity for our community is immense,” Koehn stated in a news release. “Building on the lessons learned in more than 20 years of climate work, now is the moment to ensure that the city’s climate action efforts achieve maximum impact locally and globally. Getting there requires bold action, new partnerships and ways of engaging to accelerate the new solutions the world requires. At the same time, our work should benefit everyone in Boulder.”
“Jonathan has a strong vision to address the climate change crisis, and he has demonstrated the ability to lead staff teams effectively and compassionately through significant change,” City Manager Nuria Rivera-Vandermyde stated. “Our community is poised to take the next step in this work with bold solutions, and I can think of no better person than Jonathan to lead our efforts.”
Koehn began serving in the interim role in the beginning of 2021 after the city decided to end its contract with Steve Catanach, who led the city’s efforts to form its own electric utility. Boulder voters in November 2020 agreed to end that effort and enter into a franchise agreement with Xcel Energy.
He came to Boulder from Flagstaff, AZ where he led the city’s conservation and sustainability programs.