Wade Crowfoot was appointed California’s Natural Resources Secretary by Governor Gavin Newsom in January 2019.
Secretary Crowfoot oversees an agency of 19,000 employees who protect and manage California’s natural resources. This includes the state’s forests and natural lands, rivers and waterways, coast and ocean, fish and wildlife, and energy development. As a member of the Governor’s cabinet, he advises the Governor on natural resources and environmental issues.
Secretary Crowfoot believes good natural resources management helps natural places thrive and allows communities and our economy to prosper. His key priorities include:
- Building California’s resilience to climate change-driven threats, including wildfire, drought, flooding and sea-level rise.
- Expanding access to parks, natural places and outdoor recreation for all Californians.
- Preserving California’s world-renowned biodiversity of plants and animals.
Prior to leading the Natural Resources Agency, Crowfoot served as chief executive officer of the Water Foundation, a nonprofit philanthropy that builds shared water solutions across the American West. Before that Crowfoot served in Governor Jerry Brown’s Administration as deputy cabinet secretary and senior advisor to the Governor. He also previously served as West Coast regional director for the Environmental Defense Fund and a senior environmental advisor to then-San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom.
Secretary Crowfoot received a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1996 and earned a master’s degree in public policy from the London School of Economics in 2004, graduating with honors.
A native of Michigan, Crowfoot grew up spending his summers outdoors at a YMCA camp and at his family’s remote cabin in Northern Ontario. Upon moving to California in the mid-1990s, he became an avid hiker and backpacker and marks his first time in the redwoods at Big Basin State Park as one of his defining California moments. Now he spends his time outside of work hiking and camping with his wife, Lisa, and their young daughter.