John Charles joined the Cascade Policy Institute in January, 1997 as Environmental Policy Director. The focus of Mr. Charles' work is environmental, transportation and land-use policy.
Cascade's mission is to explore private, voluntary ideas that strengthen Oregon's economy, support personal responsibility, and secure individual freedom. In June 1998, Cascade published an issue of their Policy Insights written by John Charles which described how to modernize Oregon's currently top-down zoning system to meet the needs of the knowledge-based economy.
Prior to joining the Institute, Mr. Charles was executive director of the Oregon Environmental Council for 17 years. The Council is a non-profit organization that conducts educational and outreach activities on environmental policy. As director, he served on dozens of local, state and federal commissions and advisory boards related to environmental protection. Charles was also an active participant in Oregon legislative proceedings, and helped author numerous environmental statutes in the areas of forest management, toxic substances, air pollution, watershed restoration, and transportation.
Mr. Charles has written extensively on environmental topics, and has been published in The Oregonian, The Arizona Republic, The Portland Business Journal, Willamette Week, Brainstorm, and Natural Resources Law Institute News.
Mr. Charles received a B.A. degree from the University of Pittsburgh in 1976 and an M.P.A. degree from Portland State University in 1990.