Brian Hill, former Meadville City Council member and French Creek Project director, has been named president and chief executive officer of the Pennsylvania Environmental Council.

“I’m really excited,” he said Friday. “It’s a real opportunity for me to help work and shape the future of an organization I’ve been with for 18 years. I’m just really jazzed.”

Hill, who had been interim leader of PEC since November, said his primary roles in the new position are fundraising and strategy for the statewide nonprofit organization, which is dedicated to restoration of the natural and built environments through collaboration, education and advocacy.

The group will focus on two core areas.

“One is a focus on watershed work,” Hill said. “On a statewide basis, we have the best watershed program of anyone in Pennsylvania. The second thing is land use and community revitalization. What I like about the council is we have on-the-ground projects all over the state.”

PEC has 40 staff members and an annual budget of $5 million.

Hill joined PEC in 1987 as director of research and education in Philadelphia. He headed the opening of the council’s western Pennsylvania office in Pittsburgh in 1989. He then established the French Creek Project, also a PEC venture, in Meadville in 1995, serving as director until May 2004, when he took a job as an analyst on environmental and transportation issues in Gov. Ed Rendell’s policy office.

He returned to PEC in May 2005 as executive vice president. He has also served as PEC’s vice president for watersheds.

Meadville Mayor Richard Friedberg, a long-time associate who served on city council with Hill from 1997 until Hill’s resignation in 2004, said PEC made a good choice. “He’s certainly well-qualified. I think they picked a terrific person. He’s good at strategic plans and is very goal-oriented.”

“Brian is clearly the right person to lead this organization as we step up the pace of environmental advocacy in Pennsylvania,” said Paul King, chairman of PEC’s board of directors. “Brian knows the organization and he knows Pennsylvania. We believe that this knowledge is essential for our new CEO to be successful.”

Hill has worked on policy advocacy with Pennsylvania’s congressional delegation, the state legislature and Republican and Democratic administrations.

PEC’s board of directors conducted a nationwide search for a CEO, and more than 40 qualified individuals from across the country applied for the position, which opened when Andrew McElwaine took a position with the Conservancy of Southwest Florida.

Hill and his wife, Laura, still think of Meadville as their home, and they plan to eventually return. “We love Meadville,” he said.

Learn more

To learn more about the Pennsylvania Environmental Council, see on the Web.

Gary Johnson can be reached at 724-6370 or by e-mail at

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