Squire Patton Boggs of counsel James Eklund has been selected as the recipient of the 2017 Reithmayer Award by the University of Colorado’s School of Public Affairs. Named for the school’s founder, the Reithmayer Award annually recognizes a distinguished public administrator in Colorado.
Earlier this month, Mr. Eklund joined the firm from the state of Colorado where he most recently served as Director of the Colorado Water Conservation Board (CWCB). Prior to CWCB, he was Senior Deputy Legal Counsel to Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper and Assistant Attorney General in the Colorado Department of Law.
Mr. Eklund, who had worked more than a decade for the state, was recognized for his leadership efforts in developing Colorado’s first water plan. The revolutionary plan aimed to identify ways to address the gap between the state’s water supply and anticipated future demand. Mr. Eklund and the CWCB staff were also credited for drawing up a temporary funding plan to compensate for a drop in oil and gas severance tax revenues used to help fund water projects across the state. State lawmakers are currently considering the legislation on that plan.
Mr. Eklund has extensive experience in environmental, public policy, regulatory and legislative matters. His practice focuses on environmental and natural resources issues and public infrastructure projects, particularly in relation to water. In addition, Mr. Eklund has represented the state of Colorado in interstate and international water matters. As the state’s Colorado River representative, he has worked with representatives from other states, members of Congress and federal agencies to protect the health of the Colorado River system. He has worked on public-private partnership financing projects and is active in the Intermountain Infrastructure Exchange, a collaborative effort to leverage public-private partnerships to shore up the shortfall in infrastructure funding.