Russell Van Herik

Executive Director

Russ Van Herik is the Executive Director of the Great Lakes Protection Fund. He is responsible for ensuring that the Board of Directors has an optimal array of ideas, money, talent, strategies and operational capacity to accomplish the Fund’s mission. He is fond of quoting one of the Great Lakes Governors who described the mission of the Protection Fund this way:  “Your job is straightforward—figure out what the biggest Great Lakes problems are going to be, and solve them.”

He grew up in Minnesota, received a BA in English and History from Beloit College, a law degree from the University of Wisconsin, and a Captain’s license from the Coast Guard. In addition to law practice in civil, criminal and environmental litigation, he was a senior instructor for the Outward Bound Schools, and he held executive positions with The Nature Conservancy in Washington DC, Wisconsin, Minnesota, and California.