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Don Hickman is the Vice President for Community and Economic Development for the Initiative Foundation. He administers the Healthy Lakes & Rivers Partnership program, supports efforts in the areas of renewable energy and green jobs and reviews and supports other planning and preservation initiatives, including grants, training, and convening around trails, parks, open space, community planning and natural resource management.

Prior to joining the Initiative Foundation, Don spent ten years as an environmental consultant in Minnesota and Utah. His former positions include Massachusetts Audubon Society scientist and lobbyist, New England Rural Community Assistance Program community organizer, National Park Service biologist, and Gunnison County (Colorado) water quality laboratory director.

An enthusiastic Little League coach in Nisswa, Don is also president of the Lougee Lake Property Owner’s Association. Hickman serves on the board of directors of community radio station KAXE-FM, and on the Advisory Board of St. Cloud State’s Alternative Dispute Resolution Center.  He is the past president of the Crow Wing Lakes & Rivers Alliance, and former secretary and conservation advocate for Crow Wing County Parks Department’s Citizen Advisory Commission.

Hickman has a BS in Biological Sciences from the University of Minnesota, an MS in Biology (Water Chemistry) from Western Colorado State University and Water Ecology (pursuant to Ph.D.), Utah State University

Don lives with his wife, Sandra Kaplan. They have two children, Clark and Ellen Thu Ha Hickman.

Contact Don Hickman


MAPL 5315 - Sustainable Development Policy and Advocacy