Water Resources Board head named new Wildlife Department director
J.D. Strong, executive director of the Oklahoma Water Resources Board and former Oklahoma Secretary of the Environment, has been selected as the new Director of the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation.
Strong will replace outgoing director Richard Hatcher, who is retiring Oct. 1.
Strong was chosen by the eight-member Oklahoma Wildlife Conservation Commission, the governing board of the Wildlife Department.
“I firmly believe that sustainably managing and protecting Oklahoma’s incredible natural resources is one of our most critical duties to fuel our future prosperity,” Strong said in a news release.
Strong brings 23 years of experience working in the environmental arena to his new position.
He has been Executive Director of the Water Resources Board since 2010, and was former Gov. Brad Henry’s Secretary of the Environment from 2008-10. Before that, he served as Director of Environmental Affairs then Chief of Staff in the state Office of the Secretary of the Environment.
Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin praised the choice.
“J.D. Strong is a proven leader at the Oklahoma Water Resources Board, leading the agency to be named as one of the top work places for the last three years,” she said. “He also worked diligently on the historic water settlement with the Chickasaw and Choctaw nations.”
Strong is a fifth-generation Oklahoman from Weatherford, and he earned a degree in wildlife ecology from Oklahoma State University in 1993.
Strong will begin his new job Oct. 17.