After nearly eight months leading the Department of Conservation and Recreation on an interim basis, Acting Commissioner Stephanie Cooper is headed back to her former position as deputy commissioner of the Department of Environmental Protection.
Doug Rice, former general counsel to DCR and the current director of procurement for the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority, will join the Baker administration as commissioner of DCR effective Friday, Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Beth Card announced Wednesday.
"Acting Commissioner Cooper has been a vital asset steering the Department of Conservation and Recreation, she demonstrated her commitment to the agency's mission, its staff, and the state parks system every day. I am very grateful for her service," Card said. "I am excited to welcome Doug to the team, and have confidence that he will be a strong advocate and supporter of our state's natural, cultural, and recreational resources."
During her time as acting commissioner of the agency that oversees the 450,000-acre state parks system and its pools, beaches and skating rinks, Cooper began the process of planning for projects funded through the American Rescue Plan Act, helped guide an agency-wide strategic evaluation process, and recruited hundreds of lifeguards, the Baker administration said. Cooper assumed the role Nov. 1, 2021, after Jim Montgomery, who led DCR for more than two years, resigned to pursue other opportunities.
Rice served as general counsel for DCR from July 2011 to August 2016 and he then joined the MWRA. He previously worked stints as the general counsel for the Massachusetts Recovery & Reinvestment Office, as an assistant attorney general, and as an assistant district attorney in Middlesex County, according to the administration. He lives in Malden. - Colin A. Young/SHNS | 6/22/22 4:44 PM
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