Christopher "Chris" Castilian, JD

Daniels 663
Senior Executive Director, Leadership in the Outdoor Recreation Industry Program
Office of the Dean
Chris Castilian headshot

Chris Castilian has over 20 years of experience in public, private and nonprofit sectors. Most recently, he was chief operations officer of Auraria Higher Education Center, and has been CEO of the National Ski Patrol and executive director of Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO). While at GOCO, Chris led the creation and adoption of a transformational strategic plan that focuses GOCO on equity in the outdoors, including the creation of fellowships with key partners in outdoor recreation and land conservation throughout Colorado.

Prior to GOCO, Chris was director of engagement and strategy at Anadarko Petroleum Corporation in Denver, a Fortune 400 energy company that was the region’s largest producer of oil and natural gas.

Chris was of-counsel at Brownstein, Hyatt, Farber & Schreck, representing a variety of clients in government and public affairs. Chris also served as: deputy chief of staff to Governor Bill Owens and was responsible for all policy and legislative matters during the governor’s second term; director of the Colorado State Board of Land Commissioners; legislative director for Colorado Counties, Inc; and deputy director for the Colorado region of the Rocky Mountain Oil & Gas Association.

Chris was appointed by Governor Hickenlooper to the Colorado Parks & Wildlife Commission in 2011, serving as chair 2015-2016. He previously served as chair of the Colorado Creative Industries Council (fka Colorado Council on the Arts) from 2005 to 2011. He has served on the boards of directors for the Colorado Community College System Foundation, Colorado Wildlife Heritage Foundation, Downtown Denver Inc., Civic Center Conservancy and was previously on the board of volunteers for Outdoor Colorado. Additionally, Chris is a trustee for the National Western Stock Show and serves on its Junior Livestock Auction Committee.

Chris has a bachelor of arts degree in French and Political Science from California Lutheran University, and a juris doctor from the University of Denver College of Law. He is licensed to practice law in Colorado.

Chris is a fourth-generation Coloradan, is married to Chantell Taylor (also a DU law grad) and has two bonus daughters, Veda and Riley. He is an avid outdoor enthusiast, has completed the Leadville Trail 100 mountain bike race 11 times and several other ultra-endurance mountain bike races, including the Breck Epic. If he is not on his bike, you can usually find him tinkering on his 1970 Airstream trailer or backcountry skiing with his dogs, affectionately known as The Hellhounds (Insta: @cohellhounds).

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