Robert Liberty, a former land use attorney and executive director with 1000 Friends of Oregon and then an elected councilor at Metro regional government for six years, is the new director of Portland State University’s Institute for Sustainable Solutions.

The institute supports sustainability-related research, curriculum development, student activities, and community partnerships. Liberty says he will focus on creating and supporting a business plan, while still serving as the leader of the PSU Urban Sustainability Accelerator, which works with cities and regions across the country on the implementation of sustainability plans and policies.

Liberty resigned halfway through his second Metro Council term to take a job with the University of Oregon, but switched to PSU in 2012.