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Jon Allan

Give Back Great Lakes | Board of Directors

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Jon's Story

Jon W. Allan is President and Founder of the Jon W. Allan Group, a private consultancy specializing in strategic insight for freshwater and the Great Lakes, energy and environmental policy and natural resource governance. The Group supports research, analytical insight, regulatory and legislative guidance, and environmental and natural resource management strategies.  They focus on the intersection of ecological, economic, social and cultural value(s) of water and natural resources.


He retired in 2019 as the Director of the Office of the Great Lakes contributing his considerable experience in aquatic sciences and fisheries & wildlife to the office’s mission to protect, restore, and sustain the Great Lakes watershed.  Prior to that position he served in a number of executive management positions at Consumers Energy in environmental and energy management, government and regulatory affairs, and strategy development. He has also worked in the non-profit sector in youth services, and in arts management at Michigan State University.  He has taught courses in biology, ecology and environmental impact assessment at his alma mater, Michigan State and with other institutions. He holds an undergraduate degree in Fisheries and Wildlife, and a Masters in Zoology from MSU and completed considerable additional graduate work in Environmental Policy and Law.

With nearly four decades of experience he has professionally applied his understanding of ecological systems to a variety of pressing Great Lakes issues.

Jon’s research on wetlands, stream ecology, and water policy has been published in Canada and the U.S. Organizations and individuals rely on his expertise to lead or advise on strategy, environmental planning and policy across the region.

Jon advised during the Great Lakes Compact negotiations and co-chaired the State’s Water Use Advisory Council tasked with the state's strategy and implementation of the Great Lakes Compact. He’s contributed his expertise in a range of roles with the State of Michigan, including with Michigan's Groundwater Conservation Advisory Council, the Michigan Climate Action Council, and the Environmental Advisory Council for Michigan DEQ and the Blue-Ribbon Panel on Parks.

Jon chaired the Great Lakes Commission and the Executive Committee of the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Governors and Premiers. He remains a member of the International Joint Commission’s Water Quality Board, chairs MSU’s Institute for Water Research Advisory Board, and serves on the Board of Governors at Cranbrook Institute of Science and chairs its Freshwater Forum and advises other projects and entities.

Jon grew up in northern Ohio close to Lake Erie during a time when many of our lakes and rivers were toxic. Jon has retained a keen interest in addressing Great Lakes and freshwater challenges.

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