Gov.-elect Cox, Lt. Gov-elect Henderson announce 2 more appointees

Redge Johnson and Kim Shelley. Photos: Utah Governor's Office

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, Dec. 24, 2020 (Gephardt Daily) — Gov.-elect Spencer Cox has announced two more appointments to his administration with Lt. Gov.-elect Deirdre Henderson. Both appointees will require confirmation of the Utah Senate.

Redge Johnson, a consultant who previously worked for the Utah Department of Agriculture and the Nature Conservancy, has been nominated as coordinator of the Public Lands Policy Coordinating Office, or PLPCO.

Kim Shelley, who is currently deputy director of the Utah Department of Environmental Quality, has been tapped to serve as executive director of the DEQ.

“Both Kim and Redge have depth of experience and the respect of their colleagues. They each are uniquely qualified to take on these new roles,” Cox said. “We’re excited to have them join our team as we get to work for the public good.”

Redge Johnson. Photo: Utah Governor’s Office

Johnson brings experience and expertise from the private sector, public sector and the nonprofit world, according to a biography shared with the announcement. A native of Utah, Johnson “understands the need for stewardship of our lands, water and natural resources while providing opportunities for recreation and economic prosperity,” the biography says.

Most recently, Johnson used his 35+ years of experience in land management and natural resources to assist all 29 Utah counties in drafting and implementing County Resource Management Plans. The plans analyzed and created goalcoos, policies and objectives for 28 identified natural resources. He then assisted state agencies in creating and publishing the State Resource Management Plan.

A self-described ranch hand, Johnson was born in the town of Lost Creek, Utah, and has lived all over the world, from metropolitan areas in Yokohama, Japan, Aix-en-Provence, France and Washington, D.C. as well as rural settings including Jean Lake, Nevada and Johns Valley, Utah. He has a bachelor’s degree from Utah State University.

Kim Shelley. Photo: Utah Governor’s Office

Shelley’s career has focused on Utah’s environmental priorities. An engineer by training, she is currently the deputy director of the Department of Environmental Quality where she oversees internal operations across five divisions.

Shelley 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, her biography says.

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. She has also overseen the permitting of complex wastewater and water projects and was previously appointed by Gov. Herbert to represent the state on the Colorado River Basin Salinity Control Forum and Advisory Council. Before joining the Division of Water Quality, she worked in the 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 a graduate of the University of Utah with a bachelor’s degree in Metallurgical Engineering.

Cox and Henderson, along with other statewide elected officials, will be formally sworn in on Inauguration Day, Monday, Jan. 4, 2021.


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