The Office of Cabinet Affairs serves as DEP’s clearinghouse for all items for presentation to the Governor and Florida Cabinet, which includes the Attorney General, Chief Financial Officer and Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services, sitting as the Board of Trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund and the Power Plant Siting Board. The Office of Cabinet Affairs coordinates the preparation of Cabinet agenda items pertaining to the acquisition, administration, disposition and use of state lands with DEP's divisions and district offices, the water management districts, and the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. Staff also provides technical and logistical support to the DEP executive staff, Cabinet level reviews of agenda items and transmittal of these items to the Governor and Cabinet. Serving as a liaison with the Cabinet Offices, DEP's Office of Cabinet Affairs coordinates overall programmatic assignments with the Deputy Secretary of Land and Recreation or other DEP staff as needed.
Meet the Director
Rene Best Lewis, Director, Office of Cabinet Affairs
Rene Lewis has spent over 12 years in various governmental policy positions. Most recently, she served as Executive Director for the Florida Consortium of Public Charter Schools and was responsible for the statewide management of the organization, implementation of strategic initiatives and supporting over 300 member schools. She also worked as a Government Affairs Director for the Advocacy Group at Tew Cardenas, where she represented environmental, educational and governmental entities before the executive and legislative branches of government.
Prior to this work, Lewis served as Senior Cabinet Aide for the Office of the Comptroller as well as Chief Cabinet Aide for the Department of Education. In these roles, Lewis was responsible for overseeing agency agendas, briefing documents and communications with interested stakeholders. Lewis also served as a legislative aide to Representative R.Z. “Sandy” Safley, Florida House of Representatives.
She graduated from Florida State University, receiving a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science and a Master’s Degree in Interdisciplinary Social Sciences with an emphasis in Public Policy.
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The Florida Department of Environmental Protection is the state’s lead agency for environmental management and stewardship – protecting our air, water and land. The vision of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection is to create strong community partnerships, safeguard Florida’s natural resources and enhance its ecosystems.