David Naftzger, Executive Director
David Naftzger serves as the Executive Director of the Council of Great Lakes Governors, a non-partisan partnership of the Great Lakes Governors and Premiers created to advance the region’s environmental health and high-performance economy. David directs government relations with the Congress, Administration, State legislatures, Tribal and local governments. He also directs communications and serves as the Council’s spokesperson. He has been widely quoted by media including The Economist, New York Times, USAToday, Chicago Tribune and many others.
David managed and facilitated the negotiation and implementation of the “Great Lakes Compact” and the companion Agreement. He now serves as Executive Director of the Governors’ Compact Council, a regional regulatory entity. He also coordinates the Governors’ broader regional efforts to protect and restore the Great Lakes. In addition, he oversees seven foreign trade offices promoting State exports; the Great Lakes USA which promotes international tourism to the region; and from 2003-9 the regional biomass energy program.
Separately, David is an elected official serving as a Councilman in the City of Highland Park, Illinois. In this role, he serves more than 30,000 residents, makes local policy and helps steer the City’s $70 million budget.
David is a former consultant and worked with a national initiative to improve public health through increased calcium intake. Prior to that, he was a government relations director for the National Conference of State Legislatures in Washington, D.C. He represented the legislatures before Congress, the Administration and foreign audiences on issues including international trade and agriculture. He also assisted in filing amicus briefs before the Supreme Court.
David earned a Master’s degree in Economics from the London School of Economics. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from DePauw University and studied at the University of Freiburg, Germany.
E-mail: dnaftzger@ cglg.org