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Northern Border Regional Commission Welcomes Agency’s Fourth Federal Co-Chair

April 14, 2022
Contact: Rich Grogan, NBRC Executive Director
(603) 369-3001

Northern Border Regional Commission Welcomes Agency’s Fourth Federal Co-Chair

The Northern Border Regional Commission is excited to welcome the Agency’s fourth Federal Co-Chair, Chris Saunders. Chris began his role with the NBRC on April 11th, following confirmation by the U.S. Senate on March 24, 2022. Chris succeeds Harold B. Parker, who served from 2018 – 2022.

“The communities that comprise the Commission territory are where I was raised, educated, and have chosen to raise my family.  To see our communities thrive and offer economic opportunity to all residents has been the focus of my personal and professional life.  I am grateful for the trust President Biden has placed in me by nominating me to this post and look forward to my service in support of a vibrant future for the region,” said Saunders.  

Chris joins the NBRC after nearly two decades of service as part of Senator Patrick Leahy’s staff in both Washington, D.C., and in Vermont. In those roles, he focused on a number of crucial issues to the NBRC region, including community and economic development, and transportation.

Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) said, “I am pleased that the Senate worked quickly to confirm Chris as the Federal Co-Chair of the Northern Border Regional Commission.  No one has worked harder than Chris to expand the scope and impact of the Commission.  He is deeply familiar with the unique challenges facing the most rural corners of the Northeast.  There is no better advocate for the Commission, and the states it represents, than Chris, and I am eager to continue working with him as he assumes this new role.”

Chris will work collaboratively with the Governors of Maine, New Hampshire, New York, and Vermont, to oversee a $35 Million core budget, along with NBRC partnership programs that will collectively deploy over $60 Million in funds across the region in 2022. He will also be charged with the deployment of $150 Million in funds from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Legislation, which was signed into law in 2021.

“We are thrilled to have someone of Chris’ experience join as the fourth Federal Co-Chair,” said NBRC Executive Director Rich Grogan. “He will bring a new level of energy to the Commission and help to shepherd us through our next phase of growth as we continue to seek new ways to serve our region.”

Chris was raised in Middlebury, VT, and is a graduate of Bowdoin College in Maine. He lives with his family in Burlington, VT.

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About the Northern Border Regional Commission (
Created in 2008, the Northern Border Regional Commission is a federal-state partnership whose mission is to help alleviate economic distress and encourage private sector job creation in Maine, New Hampshire, New York, and Vermont. In its thirteen-year history, including these new awards, the commission has awarded 331 grants, amounting to more than $90.6 million in direct investment and $296 million in additional leveraged investments, across the four states through its primary State Economic & Infrastructure Development (SEID) grant program and other special initiatives.