Dr. Braxton Davis, who recently stepped down as director of the state Division of Coastal Management, assumed his new role Thursday as executive director of the North Carolina Coastal Federation.
Davis said Thursday during his first meeting with staff that it may take some time to get up to speed but he was excited to be doing that now.
“In terms of what my initial priorities are, it’s getting out and engaging with all our partners and friends along the coast and hearing their their thoughts and visions for the future. This is a very collaborative organization, so I’m really excited about building those relationships and maintaining those relationships. I really am looking forward to that part of the job in the coming months,” he said.
The Coastal Federation, a nonprofit advocacy organization that works to establish and maintain a healthy North Carolina coast and publishes Coastal Review, had for nearly 42 years until Wednesday been under the leadership of its founder Todd Miller.
Miller announced in December that he would be stepping back and that the organization’s board of directors had appointed Davis to succeed him. Miller has said his new role would be to serve as Davis’ senior adviser and as an “ambassador” for the Coastal Federation.
“He was my choice to assume my role, and I could not be more pleased that our Board of Directors agreed with my recommendation, and that he accepted this new assignment with enthusiasm and his own sense for how it needs to be fulfilled,” Miller wrote in an email to Coastal Federation staff early Thursday.
Miller wrote that, while his new role would take time to sort out, “my commitment to our cause and organization is unwavering.”
Coastal Federation Board President April Clark told Coastal Review that the board unanimously rallied behind the decision to hire Davis, who had led the Division of Coastal Management since 2011. Clark said the board was confident in his abilities, values and leadership experience to continue the work of protecting and restoring the coast while steering the organization toward new environmental milestones.
“This is a significant change for the Coastal Federation,” Clark said. “Our organization has grown and matured into a renowned, sought-after environmental organization that provides much-needed work and guidance to our state and beyond. Our staff and board are mission-critical to the work of the organization and having Braxton at the helm gives us the confidence and comfort to move forward into a new chapter at the Coastal Federation.”