James Gignac

Year:
2001
Majors:
History and Political Science, with Honors
Graduate/Professional School:
J.D., Harvard University
Residence:
Chicago, Ill.
Career:
Environmental and Energy Counsel with the Illinois Attorney General's Office
In a nutshell, what do you do?
I provide analysis, advice, and expert guidance to Attorney General Lisa Madigan and her staff on a variety of matters at the intersection of energy policy, utility regulation, and environmental protection—including significant involvement in legislative affairs.
Why do you love what you do?
Energy is where the action is these days; we are in the midst of a gradual yet enormous transformation in this hugely important area for our daily lives and the environment. Working for the Illinois Attorney General also serves as a great professional platform for me in terms of exposure and opportunity.
How did Albion help you get there?
Albion sparked my interest in environmental and energy issues through an environmental history course and an opportunity to participate in a multidisciplinary summer research project on threats facing a local watershed. I realized then that I had found my calling, and for that I am forever grateful to Albion College, its spirit, its professors, and its students!
For me, Albion...
... and the liberal arts approach definitely worked! I came to Albion not sure about a direction and ended up with a mission, focus, and intellectual curiosity that now serve as the bedrocks of my career. I give back to Albion because of what an important role the college played in my life.
Anything else you'd like to add?
I list Professor Wes Dick as the most influential person in my life other than my parents. He taught me the importance of living a life committed to justice and showed me how to do it through his own example and through the study of history and of historically special people and events in time.

Take It Further: History, Political Science, Honors