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Clarkson president nominated for federal St. Lawrence Seaway advisory board

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

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

Pending approval by the U.S. Senate, Mr. Collins will meet with other advisory board members four times per year. The board will review the St. Lawrence Seaway Development Corp.’s operations and make recommendations.

Mr. Collins said his experience with north country economic development has prepared him to serve effectively. “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 transportation and trade along the St. Lawrence River and Great Lakes. Its local operations are based in Massena. If appointed, Mr. Collins will be the sole New York resident on the advisory board.

His nomination comes after 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 boost local economies. “I fully believe it can be helpful to the north country in particular,” he said.

He cited Curran Renewable Energy, Massena, as the type of company that benefits from the Seaway. Curran produces wood pellets for use in boilers and uses the Seaway to ship products to Europe.

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

If appointed, Mr. Collins said it will not affect his duties as 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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