Sara Parker Pauley Image
Gov. Jay Nixon┬ánamed Sara Parker Pauley as the Director of the Missouri Department of Natural Resources in December 2010. Pauley grew up with a family heritage and passion for Missouri’s priceless outdoors. As director, Pauley leads the department’s efforts to protect our air, land and water; preserve our unique natural and historic places; and provide recreational and learning opportunities for everyone. She understands that our health and quality of life can be closely tied to the health and quality of our state’s air, land and water resources. Our very existence depends on enriching Missouri’s natural resources and is also essential to the environment and economic vitality of our state.

Under Pauley’s leadership, the department has increased outreach and engagement with Missouri’s communities, business and industry, the environmental community, members of the Legislature, and the public through the department’s Community Assistance program, Our Missouri Waters efforts, Kitchen Cabinets meetings and numerous public forums dedicated toward enhancing Missouri’s natural resources. Pauley has implemented process improvements to ensure the agency is more effective and efficient while increasing customer service through E3, or Lean Government, increased technology, e-permitting and multiple program reviews.

Pauley 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. Pauley served as the deputy director of the Missouri Department of Natural Resources. She also served as chief of staff to former Missouri House Speaker Steve Gaw. She began her career working for the Missouri Department of Conservation.

Pauley currently serves as Chair of the Environmental Council of States, ECOS, Water Committee; ECOS Executive Committee Region 7 Representative; board member of the Environmental Research Institute of States; committee member on E-Enterprise Leadership Council and the E-Enterprise Executive Committee.

A lifelong conservationist and an avid hunter, Pauley 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. She has published a number of articles on wildlife and natural resources management.

Pauley 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