Puget Sound Partnership selects new leader

Gov. Chris Gregoire Friday appointed retired Army Corps of Engineers Col. Anthony Wright to lead the Puget Sound Partnership (PSP). Wright is currently a vice president at Normandeau Associates, a consulting firm specializing in environmental issues, and will be taking a leave of absence to serve as director of PSP.

“I thank Normandeau Associates for graciously loaning Tony, and appreciate Tony’s willingness to serve in this role,” Gregoire said. “Tony’s experience is wide-spread — from project management, to business development and finding pragmatic solutions to difficult problems. He has led numerous environmental projects throughout the region. He is a proven leader and relationship builder who shares my passion for restoring Puget Sound. These are all attributes that are necessary to effectively lead the Puget Sound Partnership. I welcome him to the agency, where he will be a tremendous asset.”

Prior to joining Normandeau Associates, Wright served as district engineer and commander of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Seattle District, where he oversaw more than $2 Billion in construction projects, including ecosystem restoration, dredging and levees. In that position, Wright led the development of interim measures to restore the flood storage capacity of Howard Hanson Dam.

“I am honored and excited to be able to help in the restoration of Puget Sound, and looking forward to joining the team,” Wright said. “The Sound needs our help, and together with the Federal, Tribal and local stakeholders we can make a difference.”

Wright has extensive military experience — serving as human resources director for engineer officers in the entire U.S. Army from 2006-2007. Wright was also an Engineer Battalion Commander in Iraq and at Fort Riley, Kansas, and served in a variety of other positions in the United States and overseas. Wright is a former board member of the PSP’s Ecosystem Coordination Board.

“The Puget Sound Partnership has important work to do,” Gregoire added. “To ensure that the Puget Sound clean up efforts continue to receive the attention they deserve, I am also elevating the Partnership to my Cabinet. The scope of the challenges facing Puget Sound today require the close collaboration among the state agencies fostered by participation in the Governor’s Cabinet.”

The Puget Sound Partnership was created in 2007 to restore and protect Puget Sound to ensure both a thriving Puget Sound economy and a clean and healthy ecosystem.

Wright will start as director July 23, earning an annual salary of $137,304.