Gov. Spencer Cox has named Brian Steed as the state’s new Great Salt Lake commissioner. This appointment is subject to approval by the Utah Senate.
“Brian has been a trusted advisor for many years and I appreciate his willingness to re-enter public service at this critical time,” said Gov. Cox. “We have a unique opportunity right now to protect and preserve the Great Salt Lake, and Brian’s expertise and passion for the lake will ensure its future is secure for generations to come.”
“Brian Steed’s immense natural resource knowledge at the local, state and federal levels, combined with his leadership skills, will help facilitate collaboration and increase Utah’s ability to find long-term solutions for the Great Salt Lake,” said President J. Stuart Adams. “Like those who came before us, it is our turn to prepare for the next 100 years by planning for future growth, conservation and development. With Brian at the helm, our state is one step closer to finding lasting solutions to our water challenges.”
“There is perhaps no role more important in the state at this time than that of the new Great Salt Lake commissioner,” said Speaker Brad Wilson. “While no small task, I have the utmost confidence in Brian Steed. He has proved time and time again that he’s capable of tackling big issues and working toward the greater good. I know this will continue as he oversees efforts to protect, preserve, and enhance the Great Salt Lake.”
Steed is currently executive director of the Janet Quinney Lawson Institute for Land, Water and Air at Utah State University, a position that he will retain in addition to his duties as Great Salt Lake commissioner. As part of that role, he has served as co-chair of the Great Salt Lake Strike Team, a cooperative effort by Utah State University, the University of Utah, the Utah Department of Natural Resources and the Utah Department of Environmental Quality that provides up-to-date data and analysis of the lake and policy recommendations to the governor and legislators to help restore the lake to healthy levels.
“I’m extremely supportive of Brian serving as Great Salt Lake Commissioner as well as in the Institute for Land, Water and Air,” said USU President Noelle Cockett. “By taking these complementary roles, Brian will be bringing the right voices to the table to help address Utah’s most critical issues.”
Previously, Steed has served as executive director of the Utah Department of Natural Resources, deputy director of policy and programs and the official exercising of the director of the Bureau of Land Management, and chief of staff to Congressman Chris Stewart.
Steed has a bachelor’s degree and master’s degree in political science from Utah State University, a juris doctor and certificate in natural resources and environmental law from the S.J. Quinney College of Law at the University of Utah, and a doctorate in public policy from Indiana University.
“I am honored by this nomination and am very excited to continue working on the challenges facing the Great Salt Lake,” said Steed. “The decisions we make today will have a huge impact on the lake and its future, as well as on the quality of life Utahns have historically enjoyed. I am optimistic that by working together we can get it right.”