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Governor-elect Nixon has gone out of state in picking his nominee for Director at the Department of Natural Resources. The new DNR chief will be Mark Templeton, a man raised in Olivette, who is currently an associate dean and the chief operating officer at Yale Law School.

The reason for this choice, as far as anyone can see at this point, is Templeton’s background in alternative energy. Dave Coonrod, who had applied for the appointment, revealed Friday that he had talked to Nixon and been informed that he did not get the job. Coonrod, a Greene County Commissioner with expertise in water quality issues, would have been a sensible choice, but that is not to say that Templeton isn’t. Coonrod shed light on the choice.

Coonrod said he had a 45-minute interview Thursday with Nixon in Jefferson City during which they talked about Nixon’s desire to explore alternative energy.

“He indicated he had a keen interest in the DNR being elevated to address that sort of issue,” Coonrod said. “Gov.-elect Nixon conveyed to me job opportunities would be created by pursuing energy-related issues, especially in concert with what’s going on at the federal level.”

Templeton’s experience with alternative energy is actually just one part of his resume, though, according to his biography at the Yale Law School:

Mark N. Templeton ’99 is the Associate Dean for Finance and Administration at the Yale Law School. At Yale, he has taught a negotiation seminar and advised students on research projects about the nonprofit sector. Prior to joining the Law School, he was an Engagement Manager at McKinsey & Co., at which his clients included large intergovernmental development organizations, leading environmental nonprofit entities, and major financial institutions. He also worked on projects associated with the McKinsey Global Institute regarding economic development and inequality. Mark has served as Special Assistant and Senior Advisor to U.S. Asst. Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor and as Advisor to U.S. Delegation to U.N. Commission on Human Rights. Prior to attending Yale Law School, he worked as a financial analyst at Goldman, Sachs & Co. and as the Publishing Director of the Let’s Go travel guides. His published work includes “A Human Right Perspective in the Broadcasting Bill Debate,” in Broadcasting Reform in India (Oxford UP, 2001). He is a member of the California Bar and a graduate of Harvard College (A.B. 1994, Social Studies).

Um … I highlighted the fact that Templeton has worked with environmental nonprofits, but the resume we have doesn’t actually show a background in alternative energy. Then again, we’ve only got one paragraph so far to work from. It seems likely that Nixon knows a few things about the new man that we don’t.

So, for now, I’ll assume that a man with considerable experience in human rights and environmental issues will work to see windmills and solar panels become part of the landscape–and will keep a tight rein on CAFOs while he’s at it.