Department of Natural Resources
On April 2, 2009, Chris Clark was sworn in as Commissioner of Natural Resources by Governor Sonny Perdue. He is the fifth person to head the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and its 2500 employees. DNR has statewide responsibilities for the management and conservation of Georgia’s natural, historic and cultural resources, including air and water quality, fish and wildlife, land conservation, coastal resources, historic preservation, sustainability initiatives, and more. DNR protects and conserves Georgia’s diverse wildlife populations and provides quality outdoor recreation through its management of more than one million acres of public lands in state parks, natural areas, public fishing areas and wildlife management areas.
Mr. Clark brings to DNR a vision of creating a culture of conservation in Georgia. Under his leadership, DNR will encourage stewardship of the environment by educating Georgians about the state’s natural and cultural resources and by encouraging them to go outside to enjoy and appreciate these resources.
Mr. Clark currently serves on the state’s Water Contingency Task Force, Drought Advisory Committee, and as Chairman of the Conserve Georgia Council. Previously he oversaw the development of the Governor’s Energy Challenge, the updating of the state energy plan, and managed the Georgia Land Conservation Program as they surpassed 100,000 acres of preserved land.
Commissioner Clark is an advisory board member for the University of Georgia’s College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences and a member of the advisory board for the College of Liberal Arts at Georgia Southern University. He is a graduate of Georgia’s first executive leadership program, and served as president of the Georgia Economic Developers Association (GEDA).
Before being appointed DNR commissioner, Mr. Clark served as executive director of the Georgia Environmental Facilities Authority (GEFA), which manages the state environmental bank by providing financing for water infrastructure projects. Prior positions include deputy commissioner for global commerce at the Georgia Department of Economic Development, president & CEO of the Fayette County Development Authority in metro Atlanta, and president & CEO of the Hawkinsville-Pulaski County Chamber of Commerce and Development Association.
A native of Fitzgerald, Ga., Commissioner Clark earned a bachelor’s degree from Georgia Southern University and received a master’s degree in public administration from Georgia College and State University. In 2000, Georgia College and State University named him the “Recent Alumnus of the Year,” and in 2006, Georgia Trend Magazine named him to its annual “40 Under 40” list of state leaders. He is a member of the 2008 Leadership Georgia class.
Mr. Clark, his wife Tiffany and son Christian reside near Peachtree City in Fayette County, Georgia and attend Dogwood Baptist Church.