National Civic League announced today the appointment of Doug Linkhart, a former Colorado State Senator and Denver City Councilman, as its next president. Linkhart replaces Gloria Rubio-Cortes, who has served as the League President since 2007.
"Doug Linkhart has exceptional qualifications for the job," said David Sander, chairman of the National Civic League Board of Directors. "His experience as a neighborhood leader, nonprofit director, elected official and public manager gives him an unusually broad perspective on the challenges and opportunities facing America's communities."
Most recently, Linkhart served as a member of Mayor Michael B. Hancock's cabinet, heading up the City and County of Denver's Department of Environmental Health, an agency with 210 employees. During Linkhart's tenure, his department reformed many of its regulatory programs to focus on prevention and education, initiated a sustainable neighborhoods program, helped tens of thousands of residents obtain health insurance and developed new healthy food options in low-income neighborhoods.
As a Denver City Councilman At-Large (2003-2011), Linkhart initiated the creation of the Crime Prevention Control Commission, an Economic Prosperity Plan and citywide master plans for youth and older residents. He also served as President of the Colorado Municipal League and as a member of the National League of Cities Community and Economic Development Committee and Council on Youth, Education and Families.
Linkhart served ten years in the Colorado State Legislature, two years as a State Representative and eight years as a State Senator, during which he served a diverse area with a large low-income population. He was founder and executive director of the Neighborhood Resource Center of Colorado, a nonprofit organization that strengthened neighborhoods through block organizing and community policing.
"Doug Linkhart's core values of inclusiveness and equity are in close alignment with those of the National Civic League," said Joni Pattillo, Treasurer of the National Civic League Board and former City Manager of Dublin, California. "He has demonstrated a lifelong commitment to civic engagement and inclusiveness through his extensive public service and leadership positions with Colorado nonprofits like the Urban League, Colorado Hispanic Institute and Metro State College Ethnic Advisory Board."
"His passion and knowledge of civic engagement started at an early age," said James Cloar, National Civic League Board member residing in Tampa, Florida. "It's rare to find someone with such varied experience in local government, state government, business and nonprofit organizations."
Linkhart said he is honored to be the National Civic League president. "This position links my extensive neighborhood and government experience to the many national issues being addressed by the League, including youth leadership, increasing economic and educational opportunities for vulnerable populations, sustainability, and health."
Founded in 1894, the National Civic League is a nonprofit organization that promotes civic engagement and community-based planning and decision-making. NCL's annual All-America City Awards are given to ten communities each year for outstanding civic accomplishments. It also publishes the Model City Charter, a blueprint for local government structure used by thousands of cities across the country and the quarterly National Civic Review.