PERC’s Board of Directors announced today that it voted unanimously to select Brian Yablonski to be the new Executive Director effective January 2018. Brian will replace Reed Watson, who is leaving to accept a position at Clemson University, his alma mater.
Brian has served on PERC’s Board since 2013 and as a member of the Executive Committee and chair of the Nominations Committee since 2015. Brian is currently Chairman of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, beginning his tenure on the Commission in 2004. In his time on the Commission, Brian has received recognition from various conservation organizations for championing wildlife stewardship. Since 2003, Brian has been an adjunct fellow at PERC.
Brian is external affairs director for Gulf Power Company. An avid sportsman, the Tallahassee, Florida and part-time Emigrant, Montana resident particularly enjoys hiking, hunting, mountain biking, and fly-fishing. Yablonski graduated from Wake Forest University and the University of Miami School of Law. He previously served as deputy chief of staff and policy director from 1999 to 2003 to Florida Gov. Jeb Bush.
“I’m honored to lead such an historically productive and well-respected organization as PERC,” said Brian. “From landowner and citizen incentives to invest in wildlife conservation to more effective stewardship of our iconic lands in the West to rights-based fishing around the world’s ocean, the ideas that start at PERC change the conservation landscape for the better.”
“Brian is a perfect choice to lead PERC as our scholarship becomes more and more relevant to environmental policy,” said PERC Board Chairman Loren Bough. “His experience as a conservationist and a policy expert will advance the paradigm of free market environmentalism to new heights. I’m eager to see what Brian and the PERC team can accomplish together.”
Reed first joined PERC as a research associate in 2004 and, upon graduating from Duke University School of Law and Graduate School, returned in 2008 as a research fellow. He has served as PERC’s Executive Director since 2014. At Clemson, he will be a Professor of the Practice in the Economics Department with plans to develop a new research center in the College of Business.