Lawrence, Douglas County hire sustainability director from Johnson County

Jasmin Moore doesn’t anticipate a steep learning curve when she starts Jan. 29 as the new Lawrence-Douglas County sustainability director.

The city and county announced Monday that Moore had been hired to replace Eileen Horn in the position that the two jurisdictions jointly fund. Horn resigned as sustainability director last month to focus on her duties as the new representative for the Kansas House’s 10th District.

For the past five years, Moore was the Johnson County sustainability program manager. In that position, she was charged with overseeing programs that focused on the sustainable management of resources, including promoting energy efficiency in public buildings.

Her Lawrence and Douglas County responsibilities will be similar, Moore said. But she said her familiarity with Lawrence extended beyond the job description, which will have her leading city and county initiatives in energy efficiency, renewable energy, waste reduction, recycling and the promotion of local food.

“While I was in Johnson County, I worked with Eileen on a couple of projects,” she said. “Through that cooperation, I got to know the atmosphere and personalities in Douglas County. I spent about five years in Lawrence, doing my undergraduate work at KU. I met my husband, Todd, at KU. We always liked the area. That’s one of the reasons I decided to apply for the position.”

Moore received a bachelor’s degree in applied behavioral science from the University of Kansas. She has a master’s degree in regional and community planning from the University of Texas. Last year, the Urban Sustainability Directors Network asked Moore to be on a national steering committee charged with developing a fellowship designed to encourage people of color to pursue careers in sustainability.

Lawrence Assistant City Manager Diane Stoddard, who was a member of the search committee for the new sustainability director, said Moore’s experience was an obvious asset.

“Jasmin’s collaborative approach and breadth of professional experience will be valuable in continuing the excellent work of the sustainability office,” she said.

Moore said another motivation for her move was the conservative political drift of the Johnson County Commission.

“Some of the ideas I was interested in were no longer priorities,” she said. “They are still priorities in Douglas County. One of the things I’m excited about is the expansion of the sustainability program to two full-time positions. The county has clearly made its commitment to sustainability.”

Helen Schnoes, who had served in a grant-funded food systems coordinator position, moved in October to a county-funded position in the sustainability office, Moore said.

Douglas County Administrator Craig Weinaug said Moore was the latest of a number of highly qualified professionals the county had attracted in recent years from Johnson County.

“Ms. Moore is recognized nationally as a leader in the development and implementation of initiatives to make local communities more sustainable,” he said. “We are thrilled that the city of Lawrence and Douglas County were again able to work together to recruit a person of her caliber.”