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Cox names heads of state environmental, lands agencies

Kim Shelley will take the helm at the Department of Environmental Quality; Redge Johnson will oversee public lands issues

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State Sen. Deidre Henderson, R-Spanish Fork and GOP nominee for lieutenant governor, and running mate Lt. Governor Spencer Cox walk out of the Capitol in Salt Lake City for a press conference on Tuesday, July 7, 2020. On Monday, Cox and Henderson were declared the winners in the GOP gubernatorial primary.

Yukai Peng, Deseret News

SALT LAKE CITY — Kim Shelley, the current deputy director of the Utah Department of Environmental Quality, will take over as executive director and consultant Redge Johnson becomes coordinator of the Public Lands Policy Coordinating Office, Gov.-elect Spencer Cox announced Thursday in a prepared statement.

“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 in the announcement. “We’re excited to have them join our team as we get to work for the public good.”             


Kim Shelley

Johnson previously worked for the Utah Department of Agriculture and the Nature Conservancy, Cox noted, and most recently helped the state and Utah’s counties to craft plans for managing their natural resources. He takes the helm from outgoing public lands Director Kathleen Clarke.


Redge Johnson

Shelley, a research and development engineer, has previously overseen permitting for wastewater projects and has represented Utah in a seven-state effort to coordinate salinity control efforts for the Colorado River. She succeeds Executive Director Scott Baird.

Inauguration for Cox and Lt. Gov-elect Deidre Henderson is Jan. 4.

Correction: An earlier version incorrectly said Scott Baird was interim executive director. He was appointed executive director in 2019.