Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz Names DNR’s New Chief Operating Officer

Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz has named Katy Taylor as the Chief Operating Officer of the Washington State Department...

Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz has named Katy Taylor as the Chief Operating Officer of the Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR).

Taylor will lead DNR’s operations, which include managing nearly 6 million acres of public lands, protecting the state from wildfire, fostering economic development throughout Washington, and helping our state prepare for earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.

“Katy is a strong, unifying leader – someone who is deeply committed to the success of the agency, committed to our mission, and committed to serving the people of Washington,” said Franz, the elected official who oversees DNR. “Her big-picture strategic thinking and innovative problem-solving will enhance the department and help maximize the benefits we provide all Washingtonians. I could not be more excited to be joined by such a smart and dynamic leader.”

Taylor brings a wealth of public- and private-sector experience to the Department of Natural Resources. She comes to DNR from Alaska Airlines, where she served as director of employee engagement programs.

New DNR Chief Operating Officer Katy Taylor; Image courtesy Department of Natural Resources

Before joining Alaska Airlines, Taylor worked for the Washington State Department of Transportation as assistant secretary for strategic, enterprise, and employee services. Prior to that, Taylor worked in a variety of business and management roles at Weyerhaeuser Co., including leading their disaster response for hurricanes Floyd and Katrina.

“Across the state, the DNR team does incredibly important work to steward our landscapes and waterways and support rural communities,” said Taylor, who starts in her new role today. “I look forward to working with Commissioner Franz, our employees, and community partners to help improve our quality of life.”

Taylor is a graduate of Gonzaga University and has completed Seattle University’s Executive Leadership Program. She resides in Olympia with her husband.

The Board of Natural Resources approved Taylor’s appointment as department supervisor, as outlined in statute, during its June 2 meeting.

– Department of Natural Resources

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