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  • Next Renewable Fuels Inc.

Next Renewable Fuels adds former assistant secretary of Army civil works to board of directors

Next Renewable Fuels announced Jo-Ellen Darcy has been appointed to its board of directors ahead of the company’s anticipated listing on the Nasdaq Capital Market.

Next is a next-generation fuels company dedicated to the goal of sustainably producing clean, low-carbon fuels from organic feedstock. The company’s initial project is a 750-million-gallon-per-year renewable diesel and sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) refinery in Oregon with easy multimodal access to the West Coast demand markets. The project is advancing through permitting and expects to begin construction upon completion of an Environmental Impact Statement currently underway with the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers.


“My passions align with the mission of Next—to decarbonize the transportation industry and create a more sustainable foundation of next-generation infrastructure,” Darcy said. “My years of public service were spent championing this vision, so I look forward to advising this innovative team and contributing to the acceleration of a cleaner future for all.”

Darcy brings an impressive record in public service, environmental stewardship and public policy advocacy to Next.

Appointed by President Barack Obama, she is renowned for her tenure as the longest-serving assistant secretary of Army civil works (2009-’17).

This position serves as the civilian head of the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers.

In this capacity, she supervised the conservation and development of U.S. water and wetland resources, advanced programs dedicated to flood control, navigation and shore protection, and oversaw impactful ecosystem-restoration projects.

Darcy held several esteemed positions in the U.S. Senate, including senior environmental advisor to the finance committee and senior policy advisor to the environment and public works committee.

She was instrumental in the legislative evolution of key policies like the Safe Drinking Water Act and the Clean Water Act and played a pivotal role in restoring critical habitats in the Everglades.

Darcy also worked as an advisor on Great Lakes resource issues, environmental preservation, and transportation policy for Michigan Gov. Jim Blanchard.

“Jo-Ellen’s leadership and expertise in environmental stewardship and wetland-related public policy is unparalleled,” said Christopher Efird, chair and CEO of Next. “She will be instrumental in guiding the company through our ambitious pursuit of building world-class clean-fuels facilities in the Pacific Northwest.”

Darcy's significant contributions throughout her career earned her the prestigious Spartan Statesmanship Award for Distinguished Public Service from Michigan State University’s Institute for Public Policy and Social Research, and the Everglades Coalition Public Service Award.

She serves on the board of directors for the U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities and is currently serving as the vice chair of American Rivers, a leading nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting and restoring rivers across the United States.


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