Portland, OR—The Oregon Environmental Quality Commission has appointed Richard Whitman to be the director of the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality. The commission worked with an executive search firm to conduct a national recruitment process. The commission held three days of interviews, provided public meetings with the candidates, and set up peer reviews with two finalists before selecting Whitman.

Commission Chair Ed Armstrong said: “I’d like to thank my fellow commissioners for their support and dedication during this last year of our search for a director to lead DEQ. I’d also like to thank DEQ staff, the agency’s strongest asset. They are dedicated experts who care deeply for Oregon, Oregonians and the environment.”

Whitman was the director of Oregon’s Department of Land Conservation and Development from 2008 to 2011. After that he was named policy director for the Governor’s Natural Resources Office, where he coordinated the work of the state’s environmental protection and natural resource agencies. Prior to directing the Department of Land Conservation and Development, Whitman was head of the Natural Resources Section under Attorney General Hardy Meyers. Whitman has served as interim DEQ director since Oct. 15, 2016.

Commissioner Colleen Johnson said: “We need a director who knows the agency both internally and externally, who understands the legislative and budgetary process in Oregon, and who can hit the ground running from day one. Richard Whitman is the right person to lead DEQ in the challenges it faces including addressing air toxics, reducing a backlog of water quality permits and making DEQ more transparent.”

Whitman said: “I am honored the commission chose me to serve in this position. I look forward to advancing Governor Brown’s vision for responsible environmental stewardship. Oregon can, once again, be a national leader in demonstrating how to protect our communities and our environment in ways that foster a resilient, forward-looking economy. With the support of the commission and DEQ’s experienced team, I am confident we will rebuild public confidence in the determination of the state to help build strong, healthy communities and protect our great outdoors.”

Leanne Mosby formerly with the Missouri Department of Natural Resources was the other finalist for the position.

For more information about the Oregon Environmental Quality Commission, please visit the EQC webpage at: http://www.oregon.gov/deq/about-us/eqc/Pages/defau…

Media Contact: Jennifer Flynt, DEQ Public Affairs Specialist, 503-730-5924, flynt.jennifer@deq.state.or.us