The Duluth Seaway Port Authority welcomes aboard a Government and Environmental Affairs Director this week. Deborah DeLuca, distinguished expert on redevelopment projects and environmental policy, officially joins the staff on July 29.
DeLuca is a founding board member of Minnesota Brownfields, a nonprofit established to ensure the effective reuse of brownfield sites across the state. As principal of DeLuca Strategies for 14 years, she has provided advice to public, private and non-profit sector clients. Her areas of expertise include grant-writing, development/implementation of funding strategies, project management, government relations and outreach education. Over the course of her career, DeLuca has secured over $25 million in state, local and federal funding for clients and helped manage over 40 of those associated grants.
Port Authority Executive Director Vanta Coda pointed to DeLuca’s unique blend of management credentials and public policy expertise in making the announcement. “Rare is it to find one individual skilled at navigating the equally complex environmental and political landscapes. Deb joins our leadership team at a strategic time, when our economic development mission is at the fore. As we embark on redevelopment ventures on the waterfront and in other parts of the city, the Port Authority will rely heavily on her expertise in interpreting environmental regulations and legislative policy plus grant execution to leverage projects to successful outcomes.”
DeLuca brings to this leadership position over 25 years of public and private sector experience in the U.S. and abroad. She began her career as a hydrogeologist with the Minnesota Department of Agriculture after which she went to work with the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA), becoming supervisor of its Voluntary Investigation and Cleanup (VIC) Program in 1996. During that time-frame, she also helped organize an international exchange program and served as lecturer on environmental policy for masters-level engineers in the Institute Nationale Agronomie in Paris, France. She spent two years as Site Redevelopment Supervisor for Braun Intertec Corp. in Minneapolis before launching her own consulting company in 2000. After helping to launch the Minnesota Brownfields nonprofit in 2005, she served as its board chair from 2011-13. A graduate of the University of Wisconsin, Madison, DeLuca earned a B.S. in molecular biology and her master’s in Land Resources, with a focus on environmental chemistry and environmental policy, from the UW Institute for Environmental Studies.
DeLuca is enthusiastic about starting this new chapter in her career. "This is an incredible opportunity for me. My family loves the history, the beauty of the Twin Ports and the amazing access to outdoor amenities. I am thrilled to join the Duluth Seaway Port Authority team; I especially enjoy situations where collaborative problem-solving is needed to resolve complex issues. I look forward to helping with the strategic redevelopment of this region’s compromised assets with a goal of returning them to the economic development stream.”
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