Department of Natural Resources insider Barb Naramore was announced Wednesday as the agency's new deputy commissioner, serving as second in command on a leadership team still forming under Sarah Strommen.
The two women each held the rank of assistant DNR commissioner during the administration of former Gov. Mark Dayton. Naramore oversaw Ecological and Water Resources, Forestry, and Lands and Minerals while Strommen headed Fish & Wildlife and Parks & Trails.
"Barb has a passion for the full breadth of DNR's work and understands its importance in the lives of all Minnesotans," said Strommen, who was picked by Gov. Tim Walz to replace Tom Landwehr as the DNR's chief executive. "As deputy, Barb will work closely with me on DNR's strategic direction.''
Before joining the DNR, Naramore was executive director of the Upper Mississippi River Basin Association. She joins DNR legislative expert Bob Meier, DNR lands and minerals director Jess Richards and newcomer Randolph Briley, a congressional associate of Walz, as the first to join Strommen's office.
Bob Meier will continue leading the DNR's governmental affairs efforts as an assistant commissioner. He previously oversaw DNR Enforcement and will add Fish & Wildlife.
Richards was promoted to assistant commissioner overseeing the divisions of Ecological and Water Resources and Lands and Minerals. Before joining the DNR in 2012, Richards worked at the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency for 18 years.
Briley will join the DNR as a special assistant to the commissioner, focused on public engagement, outreach and building stakeholder coalitions, Strommen said. The former legislative director served for more than nine years in Washington, D.C. as Congressman Walz's agriculture and natural resources policy advisor. He fills an opening created by the departure of Landwehr's special assistant, Bob Lessard.
Strommen said she'll soon announce a third assistant commissioner and other leadership appointments.