Alumnus Lucas Ingvoldstad (’05, ’11) has been named Nevada State Director for the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development Agency by President Joe Biden. Ingvoldstad brings deep expertise in Nevada’s problem areas as well as critical relationships with federal, state, tribal and local leaders.
“Rural America is critically important to the economy of our entire nation. When the people of rural Nevada and rural America succeed, we all succeed,” Ingvoldstad said.
State directors are the general managers of rural development on the ground — the boots on the ground in every state and U.S. territory. Key to Ingvoldstad’s new role will be to fight climate change and invest in climate-smart infrastructure in rural Nevada.
“People in rural communities continue to see firsthand the devastation that climate change and increasingly severe weather can have on their safety, health and livelihoods,” Ingvoldstad said. “By investing in climate-smart infrastructure, we are creating well-paying jobs in rural America and giving people in these communities the resources to help them build more resiliently for decades to come. “
Ingvoldstad is also responsible for ensuring that funding for the recently passed Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, with its $2 billion allocated to the USDA, is distributed in a way that best serves the Rural Nevada.
“By investing in climate-smart infrastructure, we are creating well-paying jobs in rural America and giving people in these communities the resources to help them build more resiliently for decades to come. “
“Supporting Americans living in rural areas remains a top priority for the Biden administration, and the bipartisan infrastructure act delivers on the president’s promises to provide high-speed internet access, safe roads and bridges, modern sanitation, clean water, reliable and affordable electricity, and well-paying jobs in every small town and rural community,” Ingvoldstad said.
From college to USDA
Born and raised in Reno, Nevada, Ingvoldstad attended college where he received his Master of Science in Land Use Policy in 2011 and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology in 2005. In 2016, Ingvoldstad was recognized as a young elder of the year. by the College of Science and the Mackay School of Earth Sciences.
“Luke has always remained committed to balancing human perspectives and environmental needs,” said Associate Professor of Geography Scott Bassett. Bassett was a member of the Ingvoldstad Master’s Degree Advisory Board. “I have enjoyed following Luke’s career since graduating, and I look forward to seeing him continue to succeed in this new role. His inclusion in rural decision-making is timely for the State of Nevada and his well-deserved presidential nomination.
“My master’s in land use planning has opened many doors for me, and I can largely attribute my career to working with Scott Bassett, Kate Berry, Scott Mensing and all of my peers in the geography department,” Ingvoldstad said. “Specifically, every day I apply the skills I have learned through hands-on experience working on real-world land-use scenarios – one of the most vital skills being stakeholder engagement. “
Ingvoldstad’s deep connection to the university opens the door to many creative opportunities to support the people of rural Nevada.
“USDA Rural Development is proud to fund partners with many universities across the country in many of our program areas,” Ingvoldstad said. “We often work directly with higher education institutions to help deploy advances in distance learning or telemedicine, support programs in areas such as the advancement of renewable energy, solid waste management or entrepreneurship, etc We recognize that colleges and universities have an exceptional impact in rural areas, as many operate extension services. »
When asked what role the University could play in advancing rural development in Nevada, Ingvoldstad replied, “I think the answer to that question is as simple as keeping in mind all the creative ways that we can advance the shared mission of rural prosperity. ”
Ingvoldstad’s professional background includes public policy, public affairs, legislative relations, stakeholder engagement and business development. Ingvoldstad previously served as senior director of government and external affairs for Eolus North America, a utility-scale renewable energy developer focusing on solar, wind and battery storage projects across the country. Mountain West. Ingvoldstad led legislative and regulatory strategies and engaged closely with elected officials and administrators to promote renewable energy development, address climate change, and promote economic development. Prior to joining Eolus, Ingvoldstad served as a senior adviser to US Majority Leader Harry Reid, where he focused on energy, agriculture and natural resource issues.