Aspen Center for Environmental Studies (ACES) board president Jeff Berkus said Wednesday the organization expects to make an offer to a new director in coming days, with a public announcement coming “within a few weeks.”
Berkus said the ACES board of directors has narrowed the field to three candidates and is preparing a job offer for one of them.
“We are really happy about our options at this point,” Berkus said of the candidates.
Recent months have marked a period of transition and growth for the Aspen earth sciences institution, which was founded by Elizabeth Paepcke in 1968.
Longtime director Tom Cardamone announced last summer that he was stepping down as ACES executive director, after 36 years there. He is expected to stay on board as the organization’s lead ecologist.
As the ACES board searched for someone to fill Cardamone’s shoes last fall, the organization merged with For the Forest, a well-funded and locally-based forest health organization that was founded in 2008. They announced the merger in December.
In January, the ACES and For the Forest boards officially merged, and are now acting as one body. For the Forest’s founder, former Aspen Mayor John Bennett, is serving as co-director for ACES, with Cardamone, during this transitional period.
Its first large-scale public event, a symposium on forest health, is scheduled for June at the Aspen Institute.
While Berkus said the merger won’t change ACES’ educational mission, he said it did change the scope of responsibility for its incoming leader.
“The merger was definitely something we focused on for awhile and wanted to have in place,” he said. “It made ACES a bigger organization with a bigger combined budget, and we took that into account to make sure he or she is comfortable running a bigger operation.”