On May 23, Georgia Governor Nathan Deal announced Richard Dunn as the Georgia Department of Natural Resources’ (DNR) Director of the Environmental Protection Division (EPD) and Lauren Curry as deputy director of EPD effective June 15.
Dunn currently serves as the deputy director of the Governor’s Office of Planning and Budget (OPB), and Curry currently serves as chief of staff for the Georgia Emergency Management/Homeland Security Agency (GEMHSA). Deal will recommend Dunn and Curry to the DNR board for approval at their scheduled meeting in June.
“Rick and Lauren are highly skilled and qualified for these positions at EPD,” said Deal in a May 23 statement. “They bring with them a broad range of experience working on the state’s behalf in their previous positions with OPB and GEMHSA. I am confident that Dunn and Curry will continue advancing Georgian’s interests in a new capacity as they manage and protect Georgia’s most valuable resources.”
Dunn will replace Judd Turner who has served as head of the EPD since 2012. Turner will continue to serve on the state’s water litigation team as a special attorney general after he leaves the EPD (See: Turner stepping down from Georgia’s top environmental post). DNR Deputy Commissioner Walter Rabon will serve as the interim director of EPD from June 1-15. Mary Walker will become the director of the Water Resources Division for the Georgia Environmental Finance Authority and will head up the Governor’s Water Supply Program for the state.
About Richard E. Dunn
Dunn is currently the deputy director of OPB. He previously served as director of the Health and Human Services division where he worked closely on the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, the behavioral health settlement agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice, state health care programs and child welfare. Dunn came to OPB in 2011 from the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities where he served as the deputy chief of staff. He has also served as the acting director of the Governor’s Office for Children and Families and chairman of the Georgia Occupational Regulation Review Council. Prior to his career in public service, Dunn taught courses on politics and public policy at Dickinson College and College of Charleston. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Emory University and a master’s degree from the University of Georgia. Dunn and his wife, Susan, have one son. They reside in Atlanta.
About Lauren M. Curry
Curry has served as chief of staff for GEMHSA since May of 2014. Prior to working under GEMHSA, she served as DNR Director of Public and Governmental Affairs for five years. In this role, she was responsible for the department’s communications and marketing strategy, legislative affairs, policy development and public events. Curry’s previous positions include special projects director and marketing manager at the Georgia Department of Economic Development, press aide to Governor Sonny Perdue, and communications and management specialist at the U.S. Department of Transportation in Boston. She earned a bachelor’s degree in Government and Business Economics from Wofford College and a master’s degree in Public Administration from the University of Georgia. Curry resides in Marietta with her husband and two children.