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Council Hires Chief Deputy Executive Officer

December 2011

The Delta Stewardship Council announced the hiring of Dan Ray, long-time planner and public servant, to the post of chief deputy executive officer.

“Dan has demonstrated his acumen for managing large and complex organizations and projects throughout more than 35 years of experience in water management and natural resources,” Delta Stewardship Council Executive Officer Joe Grindstaff said.

As the chief of the Planning Division for California State Parks, Ray oversaw the preparation of plans for 22 state parks and preserves, including a 20-year, $270-million program to improve outdoor recreation in the Delta and Central Valley. For the past 10 years he’s worked in various roles for the State of California as an environmental program manager and planner and is well-acquainted with the challenges of the Delta.

“I know the issues that the Council is dealing with – I’ve worked with them both firsthand and as a planner – I know the Delta, its people and its resources and I’m committed to helping people reach agreements about preparing for the future,” Ray said.

Previously, Ray worked for the Department of Water Resources (DWR) where he planned and helped implement North Delta restoration actions and supervised environmental compliance in its Flood Maintenance Office – experience that will be useful as the Council writes a legally enforceable plan.

“I can’t think of a more important thing to do than to help people reach agreement about how to better manage the Delta – both in terms of creating a reliable water supply and managing and protecting the ecosystem,” he said.

Before his work with the State, Ray served as the environmental director for the McKnight Foundation where he originated grant-making strategies aimed at restoring the environment of the 10-state Mississippi River corridor, encouraging renewable power development and energy conservation, and promoting smarter growth for the $1.9 billion philanthropic foundation.

Ray, a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP), earned his B.S. in Zoology from the University of Wyoming and his M.S. in Ecology from the University of California, Davis.

Coequal goals

The Delta Stewardship Council was created in legislation to achieve the state mandated coequal goals for the Delta. "'Coequal goals' means the two goals of providing a more reliable water supply for California and protecting, restoring, and enhancing the Delta ecosystem. The coequal goals shall be achieved in a manner that protects and enhances the unique cultural, recreational, natural resource, and agricultural values of the Delta as an evolving place." (CA Water Code §85054)