TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Florida Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Noah Valenstein today announced three key appointments to DEP’s leadership team, as part of its continued focus on the protection of Florida’s prized properties through the management of Florida’s world-renowned state park system and land acquisition and conservation. Eric Draper will join the DEP team as the Director of Florida State Parks, effective Nov. 28, and Callie DeHaven will serve as Interim Director of the Division of State Lands effective Nov. 27, subject to Governor and Cabinet confirmation. David Clark, who has previously served as Director of State Lands and has been acting Deputy Secretary of Land and Recreation, has officially been appointed Deputy Secretary.
As Florida State Parks Director, Draper will join more than 1,000 park rangers, managers, biologists, planners and other staff to oversee the management of Florida’s award-winning state park system.
As State Lands Director, DeHaven will oversee the division that serves as staff to the Board of Trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund (Governor and Cabinet) and provides oversight for the management of activities on more than 12 million acres of public lands.
Secretary Valenstein said, “DEP employs an incredibly knowledgeable and talented workforce, who have dedicated their lives to public service. Our qualified staff are experts in their fields and show their passion and commitment for protecting our state’s beautiful natural resources each and every day. I’m extremely proud to be a part of this hard-working team, and am excited to welcome Eric, Callie and David to their new roles. I know they will play a vital part in helping us continue to acquire, preserve and protect Florida’s prized properties.
“Eric Draper has dedicated his career to the protection of Florida’s environment and his passion for our state’s natural resources make him an ideal fit to join our world-caliber parks team.
“Callie DeHaven brings more than two decades of conservation planning and land acquisition and protection experience in the public, private and non-profit sectors to DEP. Her expertise and commitment to strong partnerships will serve Floridians and DEP well.
“David Clark has been an integral member of the DEP team, working closely with Florida’s Cabinet agencies and stakeholders to make strategic acquisitions and enhance the management of Florida’s land and water resources, and I’m thrilled to welcome him to his new role.”
A Florida native, Draper most recently served as Executive Director at Audubon Florida. He is a career conservationist and is recognized as a longtime and leading advocate for Everglades restoration, water resource protection and land conservation. Previously, he was National Audubon’s Senior Vice President for Policy and led The Nature Conservancy’s Florida government relations program.
DeHaven, a fifth generation Floridian, brings expertise in negotiation and contracting land sale transactions and land and property management activities in private, nonprofit and government sectors to the position. She most recently implemented a conservation land sales program and led conservation activities at Rayonier Inc. Prior to that, she worked for The Nature Conservancy as Florida Public Lands Protection Manager and for DEP’s Division of State Lands as a Planning Manager.
Clark first began his tenure with DEP in 2004, where he worked in the Division of State Lands and then the Office of Cabinet Affairs until 2010. After serving four years in the U.S. Army as an officer with the 82nd Airborne Division, America’s Guard of Honor, David returned to DEP in 2014, serving as both Director of Cabinet Affairs and Deputy Director of State Lands. David has served DEP as the Director of State Lands since March 2016. In his time at DEP, David has worked closely with Florida’s cabinet agencies and numerous stakeholders, including the military and environmental groups, to accomplish many strategic acquisitions that will help ensure the protection of our land and water resources while balancing recreational opportunities.
About Florida State Parks, Greenways and Trails
The Florida Park Service is the proud recipient of three National Gold Medals for Excellence in Park and Recreation Management, making Florida America’s first three-time Gold Medal winner. The awards were received in 1999, 2005 and 2013 from the American Academy for Park and Recreation Administration and the National Recreation and Park Association.
Florida’s 175 state parks, trails and historic sites inspire residents and visitors with recreation opportunities and scenic beauty that help strengthen families, educate children, expand local economies and foster community pride. With nearly 800,000 acres, 100 miles of beaches and more than 1,500 miles of multi-use trails, residents and visitors should plan to visit soon and often to enjoy Florida’s natural treasures. Download the Florida State Parks Pocket Ranger® mobile app, available on iTunes and Android Market, to plan your trip and enhance your experience. For more information, visit www.FloridaStateParks.org.