The University of Colorado Law School is pleased to announce the appointment of Chris Winter as the new Executive Director of the Getches-Wilkinson Center (GWC). Winter brings a wealth of experience and a deep commitment to natural resources law and policy, making him an ideal leader for the renowned center. This appointment follows the stewardship of interim co-directors Professor Michael Pappas and Professor Mark Squillace.
Winter assumes this pivotal role at the GWC with a remarkable track record in environmental advocacy, education, and policy development. With 25 years of experience in the field of natural resources and environmental law, Winter has established himself as an attorney and advocate of extraordinary effectiveness, dedicating much of his career to public land management, environmental justice, and representing indigenous communities.
In 2001, Winter co-founded a non-profit law center based in Portland, Oregon, which represented public interest clients in federal and state courts across the Pacific Northwest. Over 17 years, he earned a reputation for winning challenging cases on behalf of grassroots organizations facing daunting odds and formidable opposition. Notably, Winter represented Alaska Native organizations in the U.S. Arctic, successfully protecting their subsistence activities from the impacts of offshore oil and gas exploration. He also served as lead counsel in Rosemere Neighborhood Ass’n v. U.S. E.P.A., a landmark case that shed light on the EPA’s inadequate investigation of citizen complaints under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act. His litigation record includes numerous victories on a wide range of issues in federal and state courts.
Most recently, Winter led a national advocacy organization working at the intersection of outdoor recreation and public land management. He spearheaded efforts to restore Bears Ears National Monument, promote human-powered outdoor recreation, and conserve public lands. Winter’s extensive experience, particularly in engaging with diverse stakeholders and representing marginalized communities, uniquely positions him to lead the GWC.
“We are so glad to welcome Chris Winter as the new Executive Director of the Getches-Wilkinson Center, reaffirming our commitment to excellence in environmental law and policy,” said Lolita Buckner Inniss, dean of the University of Colorado Law School. “We extend our gratitude to Professors Michael Pappas and Mark Squillace for their invaluable contributions as interim co-directors. With Chris at the helm, we are confident in the center’s continued growth and its ability to shape the future of environmental law and policy.”
Winter’s deep expertise in environmental law and advocacy, combined with his passion for interdisciplinary collaboration, make him an ideal leader for the GWC. He has a proven ability to build partnerships and engage stakeholders from diverse backgrounds to address critical environmental issues.
“I am honored to join the GWC and contribute to its legacy of excellence,” said Chris Winter. “For years the center has been a respected institution in environmental law scholarship and action. I am excited to build on that foundation in collaboration with Colorado Law’s extraordinary students as well as the state’s passionate and effective legal community.”
Winter’s appointment underscores the school’s dedication to fostering a sustainable future through rigorous research, innovative solutions, and impactful engagement.