Although he may have been upstaged by former Denver Bronco quarterback John Elway as he was being named as the team's new VP of football operations, outgoing Colorado Governor Bill Ritter announced on Wednesday he would be accepting a position as director of the Center for the New Energy Economy at Colorado State University.
On the heels of a term as the Governor of Colorado, Bill Ritter made building the "New Energy Economy" the centerpiece of his time in office. Ritter, who leaves office next week, will now have the opportunity to pick up right where he left off, although in an entirely new capacity.
“The New Energy Economy is now synonymous with Colorado,” Gov. Ritter said, “and the Center for the New Energy Economy will serve as a national leader as we move toward a future in which our children will produce and consume energy far differently than we do today."
Ritter, a (fellow) CSU alum, said he had many lucrative offers on the table from local and national law firms. "I was very flattered by that, as well, but I really believed that my heart is in developing, continuing to develop a clean energy agenda for America," he said.
The outgoing governor won't exactly be making a poor man's salary either. Ritter will earn $300,000 annually, more than three times his salary as governor.
Funding for The Center for the New Energy Economy, including salaries, will be provided by private support by the San Francisco-based Energy Foundation and the Bohemian Foundation, a Fort Collins-based organization led by billionaire philanthropist Pat Stryker.
"It was very important to me and to the [CSU] president that it was privately funded because of the difficulties we've had in securing public dollars for higher-ed during this awful recession," Ritter said.
“Land grant universities such as CSU have always been strongly linked to the economic vitality of their states,” said CSU president Tony Frank. “Clean and renewable energy is a new economic frontier, and it’s important for Colorado and our country that we continue to position ourselves as leaders in this emerging economy."
In addition to directing the new center, Ritter will also be a Senior Scholar at CSU’s new School of Global Environmental Sustainability.
Ritter, who chose not to run for re-election in 2011, will be replaced by Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper, also a Democrat.
Photo: US Army