Krystyna U. Wolniakowski

Krystyna U. Wolniakowski

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Executive Director

Krystyna U. Wolniakowski was appointed as Executive Director by the Columbia River Gorge Commission on September 8, 2015. “The Columbia River Gorge is an international treasure that is important for its abundant fish and wildlife species, extraordinary scenic views, unique cultural resources and world-class recreational opportunities.  But it is also a place where people live and work.  I am pleased to work with the Commission to collaborate with communities, business, agencies, the four Columbia River Treaty Tribes, and the public and contribute to our vision of conservation and economic vitality in the region”.

Before joining the Gorge Commission, Krystyna led the Western Partnership Office of the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) in Portland for more than 14 years as Regional Director, creating and managing conservation grant-making programs in seven Western states. Her work included the launch of the Washington State Community Salmon Fund, the Alaska Fish and Wildlife Fund, and the Oregon Governors Fund for the Environment.  As a member of the National Fish Habitat Board, she oversaw the development of regional collaborative partnerships throughout the U.S. for protecting and restoring the nation’s freshwater and marine habitats. 

Krystyna also recently served as science adviser for development of the statewide Focused Investment Partnerships Program for the Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board (OWEB), and worked for the German Marshall Fund of the U.S. as Director for Central and Eastern Europe, developing grantmanking programs in seven countries.  In August 2015, she received the highest honor given for international cooperation from the President of Poland, the Knight’s Cross of Merit Award, for her decade of work in philanthropy and development of environmental partnerships in post-Communist Poland from 1990 to 2000.  This recognition was the first ever given for achievement in conservation.   Krystyna earned her B.S. degree at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire in Biology/Chemistry and her M.S. degree at Oregon State University in oceanographic science.