Meet the Department Director - Sara Parker Pauley

photo of Sara Parker Pauley, director of the Missouri Department of Natural Resources

Gov. Jay Nixon named Sara Parker Pauley as the Director of the Missouri Department of Natural Resources in December 2010. Sara grew up with a family heritage and passion for Missouri’s priceless outdoors. As director, Sara leads the department’s efforts to protect, preserve and enhance Missouri’s natural, cultural and energy resources. She understands that economic growth and environmental stewardship are not mutually exclusive and promotes sound environmental stewardship and sustainable economic development for the 21st century.  Under her leadership, the department will strive to build and improve relationships with Missouri’s communities, business and industry, the environmental community, members of the Legislature, and the public to make Missouri a leader in innovative resource conservation, while protecting our outdoor heritage for generations to come.

Sara previously worked as a project manager for D.J. Case & Associates, a natural resources communications firm. She worked with federal and state agencies on policy development, marketing and environmental compliance.

In 2006-2007, Sara was the Executive Vice President of PrimeGen Power USA, a start-up distributed power energy company based in Missouri. She handled the market research and development for electric utilities and the U.S. military.

From 2001 to 2005, Sara served as the deputy director of the Missouri Department of Natural Resources and public liaison to diverse constituencies including the business community and environmental groups. She also oversaw the staff and budgets of the State Historic Preservation Office, Energy Center, Technical Assistance Office and Communications Office.

Sara was chief of staff to former Missouri House Speaker Steve Gaw from 1996-1998, working as a liaison with legislators, lobbyists and other constituent groups.

A lifelong conservationist and an avid hunter, Sara has been an executive committee and board member of the Conservation Federation of Missouri. She was a member of the board of the American National Fish & Wildlife Museum, where she served as director of conservation programs from 2005-2006. She has published a number of articles on wildlife and natural resources management.

Sara received both her law degree and her bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Missouri - Columbia, and did post-graduate studies in Australia as a Rotary Fellow. She was an instructor at the University of Missouri's School of Natural Resources, where she taught a course in natural resource policy and administration.  She is also a graduate of Columbia's Hickman High School.

Director Pauley named Bass Pro Shops Conservation Partners of the Year for 2012