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Bruce Blanchard, MN ‘78

Bruce Blanchard exemplifies qualities that enable The Explorers Club to move forward with precision and harmony. Well known for his precision and fidelity to the Club’s mission, Bruce has been an indispensable member of the Washington Group’s Board of Directors since 1995 and has been reelected as the Washington Group’s Treasurer every year for the past eighteen years. The highly successful Washington Group’s student grant program can largely be attributed to Bruce’s sharp pencil and budget process which has led to over $200,000 to more than one hundred graduate students throughout mid-Atlantic region. His annual financial statements make the Washington Group a poster child for financial management and transparency. Bruce’s persistence helped boost the percentage of dues paying members from thirty to eighty percent and he prepares and publishes the Group’s unique annual membership directory.

Mr. Blanchard received two degrees from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology followed by forty eight years in the U.S. Department of the Interior, ultimately serving in several senior executive positions. He worked for eight Secretaries of the Interior and personally provided oversight for hundreds of significant environmental issues. Other positions included Deputy Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Special Assistant for Tribal Self Governance. During his career he received the Department’s highest awards for meritorious and distinguished service.

Mr. Blanchard was born on a little horse cavalry post in the Philippines and grew up on several army posts. Over the years he has received many honors from MIT, DOI, and the U.S. Army.  Mr. Blanchard retired as a Colonel in the National Guard and is recognized as a Fellow in the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

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Background image photography courtesy of members Christoph Baumer, Neil Laughton, Matt Harris and Don Walsh's image of the Bathyscape Trieste