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Office of the Secretary

Noah Valenstein, Secretary

Noah Valenstein was appointed Secretary of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection by Governor Rick Scott on May 23, 2017 and reappointed by Governor Ron DeSantis on February 15, 2019. He returned to DEP with nearly 15 years of public service experience with governmental agencies and a passion for natural resource protection.

Noah most recently served as executive director for the Suwannee River Water Management District, where he oversaw the protection and conservation of water and land resources across 15 counties. His previous experience includes working on environmental, agricultural and energy issues in the Executive Office of the Governor and Florida House of Representatives, as well as with several of Florida’s leading environmental nonprofit groups. 

With a strong belief in the power of partnerships, Noah is focused on building relationships between diverse groups of stakeholders, including environmental and agricultural groups as well as local communities and businesses. He’s built a reputation of bringing groups together to overcome obstacles and work toward a shared goal of environmental protection, and is committed to continuing in this spirit of partnership and service as DEP Secretary.

Noah was born in Gainesville, Florida, and graduated with honors from the University of Florida’s School of Natural Resources and Environment. He also holds a law degree from Florida State University. Noah resides in Tallahassee with his wife, Jennifer, and daughter, Ava.

Office of the Secretary

The Secretary works alongside more than 2,900 full-time and 1,300 OPS employees to protect Florida's water and natural resources. Along with oversight of the agency's strategic and executive leadership teams, DEP's regulatory programs, ecosystem and restoration programs and land and recreation programs.

The Secretary oversees all functions of the department:

  • Ecosystems Restoration oversees Florida water quality, restoration and research, including coastal resources, the Everglades and water restoration assistance.
  • Land and Recreation oversees public lands, including Florida State Parks, the Office of Greenways and Trails and the Division of State Lands.
  • Regulatory Programs oversees the air resource, water resource and waste management divisions; the Florida Geological Survey, the Office of Emergency Response and six regulatory district offices.
  • Strategic and Executive Direction includes the Office of the Chief of Staff and the Office of Strategic Initiatives and Development.
  • The Division of Administrative Services provides centralized support in the areas of budget and planning; finance and accounting; human resource management; and others.
  • The Office of General Counsel represents DEP and provides counsel in implementing Florida's top environmental priorities.
  • The Office of Inspector General promotes accountability, efficiency and integrity in government.
  • The Office of Intergovernmental Programs oversees the Florida State Clearinghouse and DEP's review of local government comprehensive plans.
  • The Office of Legislative Affairs develops and coordinates the department's legislative lobbying efforts and serves as the central point of contact for legislators and their staff.
  • The Office of Technology and Information Services provides support services to DEP's divisions and offices in Tallahassee as well as its six regulatory and five park districts across the state.

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