The man appointed by President Obama last fall to lead U.S. efforts to halt the movement of an exotic fish into the Great Lakes doesn’t like his media nickname, “Asian carp czar.”
John Goss — the first presidential appointee to lead a U.S. war against an invasive species — prefers his official White House title, “Asian carp director.” Far from wielding the power of a “czar,” Goss is working with a shrinking budget and the legendarily slow-moving Army Corps of Engineers to fight a force of nature.
“The original title was ‘carp commander,'” Goss dead-panned during the keynote speech at a recent Washington conference on invasive species, a gathering where the 59-year-old environmentalist enjoyed a kind of rock-star status. “I’m just not the commander type. ‘Director’ is strong enough. And if I can’t get everybody to work together, it’s not going to work anyway.”