Chris Castilian named new Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO) executive director

Great Outdoors Colorado, better known to most as GOCO, has named Chris Castilian as its new executive director. The organization’s Board of Trustees announced his selection to the Lottery-funded preservation post on Friday of last week.

Castilian brings a long history of public service, as well as enthusiasm for outdoor recreation and land conservation, to the job. His extensive background in the private sector should help with the new responsibilities he will take on with GOCO on March 6.

In 2010, Castilian led a broad coalition that worked with the Governor’s Office and lawmakers to pass the Clean Air-Clean Jobs Act. And following Gov. John Hickenlooper’s 2013 call for “zero tolerance” of fugitive oil and gas methane emissions, Castilian was instrumental in assisting the state to establish regulations that limit pollution. Most recently, as director of strategy and engagement for Anadarko Petroleum Corp., he led its government affairs, social investment, employee engagement and stakeholder outreach program for the Rockies region.

“GOCO is an important partner to the state as we fulfill the vision of Colorado the Beautiful, with its goal of ensuring that every Coloradan will live within 10 minutes of a park, trail or vibrant green space,” Hickenlooper said in a news release on the announcement. “Chris’ forward-thinking perspective and passion for the outdoors will help move this meaningful work forward.”

Castilian is a fourth-generation Coloradan, and served as deputy chief of staff to Gov. Bill Owens, where in that role he acted as the primary legislative contact and policy advisor to the governor. He is also previously the director of the Colorado State Board of Land Commissioners, which is responsible for managing lands that the federal government grants to the state in public trust.

“I’m a believer in the GOCO mission, and I have this incredible opportunity to help further it, by working with valued partners across the state to protect land, connect Coloradans to nature and inspire youth to enjoy and care for our great outdoors,” Castilian said in the release.