Richard Whitman, current director of Oregon Department of Land Conservation and Development, was tapped today to be Gov. John Kitzhaber’s interim natural resources advisor.
He’ll start March 4 and stay in the position at least through the 2011 legislative session. The governor recommended that Jerry Lidz, former Solicitor at the Department of Justice, step in to take Whitman’s place at DLCD until he makes a permanent appointment.
Whitman directed the natural resources section of the state’s justice department before moving into the DLCD director’s chair. Before that, he was a partner at a Portland law firm and an economic development program manager in California.
He has a law degree from the University of California-Berkeley, where he won the Harmon Prize for best environmental law article. He graduated from Tufts University in 1978, and in 1981 graduated with honors from MIT with a Masters of City and Regional Planning.
Tim Raphael, spokesman for the governor’s office, said Whitman may become Kitzhaber’s permanent natural resources advisor, but that decision won’t be made until after the current legislative session to ensure strong leadership both at DLCD and in the governor’s office.