NCDENR LogoRaleigh, N.C. - Governor Pat McCrory announced today that he has selected Donald van der Vaart as the next secretary for the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources. Van der Vaart currently serves as deputy secretary and energy policy advisor for the agency. Van der Vaart replaces John E. Skvarla, whom Governor McCrory has named to lead the N.C. Department of Commerce when Secretary Sharon Decker leaves at the end of December.

"Don van der Vaart possesses extensive knowledge of environmental regulations and will continue DENR's focus on protecting our environment while helping to maintain the economic resurgence that our state has seen since 2013," said Governor McCrory. "Van der Vaart's scientific and academic credentials alone are remarkable, but he also has the real-world experience to ensure that North Carolina continues to implement common-sense solutions based on science."

Van der Vaart was a longtime manager in the department before he was named deputy secretary. He has an extensive background in energy, environmental and regulatory work in academia, state government and the private sector.

"I am privileged to take on this role after serving the department in various capacities over the past 20 years," said Dr. van der Vaart. "My background is in engineering and environmental regulation, and as secretary I will focus on DENR's core mission of environmental protection and augmenting our citizens' understanding of our state's abundant and unique natural resources."