Pending confirmation by the state Senate, Department of Natural and Cultural Resources Chief Deputy Secretary D. Reid Wilson will be promoted to secretary effective Jan. 1.
“I greatly appreciate this opportunity to lead the department’s efforts to manage, enhance, and celebrate the things that people love about our state – our rich history, our diverse arts and culture, and our spectacular natural areas,” Wilson said in a release. “Our department will do its part to help the state recover from the pandemic, expand educational opportunities for children, strengthen local economies, and make our communities more resilient.”
Gov. Roy Cooper announced the promotion Thursday. Wilson will replace Susi Hamilton, who stepped down earlier this month.
“As we searched for a leader for this large and diverse agency, Reid Wilson’s accomplishments and distinguished service made him a natural choice to step into the role as Secretary. I am glad that he will lead the agency as we continue to support our state’s art, history and music and to preserve North Carolina’s lands, parks, and wildlife,” said Cooper in a statement.
Wilson served as the executive director of the Conservation Trust for North Carolina from 2003 to 2017, a nonprofit that advances land conservation along the Blue Ridge Parkway and assists local land trust organizations in similar protection activities.
He also served as a public affairs consultant to national environmental groups as senior vice president with M & R Strategic Services in Washington, D.C., and for nearly eight years in President Clinton’s administration in progressively higher-ranking appointments at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, eventually being named Chief of Staff for Administrator Carol M. Browner.
Wilson also served as national political director of the Sierra Club from 1989 to 1993, as well as working in a number of fundraising and grassroots organizing roles for progressive causes. Wilson holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Biology from Grinnell College in Iowa.