Gov.-elect Cox Names Kim Shelley as DEQ’s Executive Director

Kimberly D. Shelley
Executive Director, Kim Shelley

Dec. 24, 2020

Today, Gov.-elect Spencer Cox and Lt. Gov.-elect Deidre Henderson named Kim Shelley as their pick for Executive Director of the Utah Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ).

An engineer by training, Shelley is currently the deputy director of DEQ where she oversees internal operations across five divisions. She is responsible for ensuring Utah maintains primacy for the implementation of federal environmental programs and for assuring outreach and coordination with industry, federal, state and local partners. She has a thorough understanding of the department and a commitment to its mission to safeguard and improve Utah’s air, land and water through balanced regulation.

“It’s important that we continue to serve the people of Utah and protect human health,” said Shelley. “I am grateful for this opportunity and I look forward to continuing to work alongside the bright and capable team at DEQ. Our state faces many environmental challenges, both rural and urban. Working together, we can find practical solutions that safeguard and improve the quality of life in Utah.”

Shelley graduated from the University of Utah in 1996 with a degree in metallurgical engineering and a minor in chemistry. Prior to being named Deputy Director, Shelley was the Assistant Director of the Division of Water Quality and Manager of the Surface Water Discharge Program. Shelley also oversaw the permitting of large-scale wastewater and water projects and was previously appointed by Gov. Herbert to represent Utah on the Colorado River Basin Salinity Control Forum and Advisory Council.

Before joining the Division of Water Quality, Shelley worked for DEQ’s Division of Environmental Response and Remediation’s underground storage tank program. In addition to her public sector experience, Shelley has experience in private industry as a research and development engineer.

Shelley was raised in Salt Lake City and is married to Jeff Vandel. Together, they have two children: Madeline and Benjamin.

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