Last Friday, the Great Lakes Observing System board named Jennifer Boehme the new Chief Executive Officer.

Jennifer has served on the GLOS board since 2015, as the chair since 2017, and currently works as an environmental scientist at the International Joint Commission (IJC). She has also served on the board of the International Association for Great Lakes Research, and is the co-chair of the association’s IDEA+ Committee.

Jennifer worked at the IJC over the past decade to address Great Lakes water quality and pollution issues to protect human health, collaborating across borders, organizations, and agencies. Drawing on her education in oceanography, Jennifer is dedicated to interfacing between policy and research to safeguard human health and the health of the ecosystem.

Tom Rayburn, Vice Chair of the GLOS board led the CEO search committee, alongside Pete Giencke and Rhonda Wille.

Rayburn said that the committee was focused on finding someone who could forge new paths forward for GLOS, across the region. He said that the committee was looking for a person who would leverage staff talents, ensure GLOS products reach as many people as possible, and who would excel at working with a diversity of partners and organizations.

“We had some stand-out applicants from across the Great Lakes region and nationally,” said Rayburn. “Ultimately we found the perfect individual to meet these needs and goals in our own backyard, so to speak, in Jennifer Boehme, Ph.D., our board chair. Her regional experience, knowledge, data-driven decision making, and ability to forge international Great Lakes partnerships are crucial to maintaining existing opportunities and connecting to new ones. We are excited to have Dr. Boehme take the helm in August.”

Chief Operations Officer Becky Pearson has served as Interim CEO since January. “It’s been great to get to know Jennifer as GLOS Board Chair over the years, and now I am delighted to be able to work under her leadership to elevate GLOS’ role in the region.”

Jennifer Boehme welcomed attendees to the 2023 annual meeting.

Jennifer has helped guide GLOS through some of the most eventful years in the organization’s history, from the tripling of the staff size, to the initiation of the Smart Great Lakes Initiative, to the launch of Seagull last year.

“I am honored and grateful for the opportunity to lead this outstanding organization of talented and dedicated professionals,” said Boehme. “The Great Lakes are an invaluable resource, and GLOS provides crucial data needed to address challenges to water use, conservation and access in this region. This is an exciting time to join an organization that is working to build strategic partnerships and equip decision-makers with the knowledge necessary to protect and maximize the Great Lakes’ potential.”


Lake photo by Michigan Technological University.

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