On January 16, Gov. Tom Wolf formally nominated agency secretaries, including Patrick McDonnell for the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP); Cindy Adams Dunn for the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR), and Russell Redding for Department of Agriculture (PADA). The state Senate must confirm these nominations.
McDonnell has led DEP since he was nominated as acting secretary on May 20, 2016 and was later confirmed by the Senate. Prior to his appointment in 2016, McDonnell served as director of DEP’s policy office. Prior to returning to DEP, Mr. McDonnell was executive policy manager for Pamela A. Witmer of the Public Utility Commission, focusing on electric, natural gas, and water issues as well as cybersecurity and the impact of environmental regulation on energy markets. Previously, McDonnell spent 13 years with DEP in a variety of roles. As deputy secretary for administration, he managed the budget, human resources, information technology, and oversaw the facilities management functions of the agency. He also previously served as policy director and as an assistant to the special deputy secretary.
Cindy Adams Dunn
Dunn had lead DCNR since she was nominated as acting secretary in January 2015 and was later confirmed by the Senate. She returned to the agency where she worked under three governors in multiple positions over the last two decades. Since November 2013, Dunn had served as the president and chief executive officer of PennFuture, a statewide environmental advocacy organization. Prior to her time at PennFuture, Dunn served as DCNR’s deputy secretary of Conservation and Technical Services from 2007 to 2013, where she led DCNR’s conservation landscape program and oversaw the community conservation partnerships grant program, which provides $30–$60 million annually for conservation and recreation throughout the commonwealth.
Redding has led the Department of Agriculture since being named Acting Secretary in January 2015 and was later confirmed by the Senate. Redding is the former dean of the School of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences at Delaware Valley College. Redding has extensive experience as a public servant, having spent more than 20 years serving Pennsylvania in Harrisburg and Washington D.C. He worked on Capitol Hill as agriculture policy advisor to U.S. Senator Harris Wofford and served for 16 years in the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, serving as secretary from 2009–2011 under Governor Rendell.
Click here for the complete list of nominations announced Wednesday.