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Clarkson president nominated for federal advisory board

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POTSDAM — President Barack Obama has chosen Clarkson University President Anthony G. Collins to serve on the five-member advisory board of the St. Lawrence Seaway Development Corp.

Mr. Collins’s upcoming nomination was announced in a White House news release Friday.

Pending approval from the U.S. Senate, Mr. Collins would meet with the rest of the advisory board four times a year, reviewing the operations of the St. Lawrence Seaway Development Corp. and making recommendations.

Mr. Collins said his experience with various north country economic development efforts has given him much of the experience he needs to fill the position.

“It actually fits a lot of what I’ve already been doing and am aware of,” he said.

The government-run corporation is based in Washington, D.C., and oversees the transportation and trade along the St. Lawrence River and the Great Lakes. Its operational headquarters are in Massena.

If appointed, Mr. Collins will be the only New York resident on the advisory board.

His nomination is a result of a lengthy process that included interviews with White House officials. He said he is not yet sure when the Senate will review his appointment.

Mr. Collins said he would focus on procuring federal funding to improve the Seaway and boosting the economy of the communities along it.

“I fully believe it can be helpful to the north country in particular,” he said.

He mentioned Curran Renewable Energy, in Massena, as an example of the type of company that benefits from the Seaway. Curran produces wood pellets for use in boilers, and ships some of its products to Europe by way of the Seaway.

“That story can be replicated up and down the Seaway and into the Great Lakes,” Mr. Collins said.

Mr. Collins said if he is appointed, it will not affect his duties as either president of Clarkson or co-chairman of the North Country Regional Economic Development Council.

“My number-one priority is being president of Clarkson University and supporting our educational region,” he said.

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