John Laird, a board member at the Nevada City-based Sierra Fund, was appointed Wednesday as secretary of the California Resources Agency.
Laird, a former Democratic Assemblyman from the Central Coast, co-authored legislation that created the Sierra Nevada Conservancy in 2004.
A bi-partisan campaign to pass the legislation was hailed as a signature accomplishment of former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger; The Sierra Fund was one of two official sponsors of the legislation.
"Mr. Laird is a creative and effective leader, able to get important things done because won't give up until the problem at hand has been solved," said Sierra Fund CEO Elizabeth "Izzy" Martin. "We support this appointment, even though it means that Mr. Laird has to immediately resign from his current position on our Board of Directors."
Laird served on the board since 2009.