Director, Government Relations
Louisiana Chapter, The Nature Conservancy
Karen Gautreaux began her public service career in 1989 in the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality's (DEQ) Office of Policy and Planning. She joined former Governor Buddy Roemer's Office of Environmental Affairs later that year and continued to work on natural resource and environmental policy issues through February 2004.
Her responsibilities included heading the Governor's Office of Coastal Activities where she played an active role in developing the state's current groundwater management policy while serving as chair of the Governor's Water Policy Advisory Task Force, the Ground Water Management Commission and the Groundwater Management Task Force.
She returned to DEQ in February 2004 after Governor Kathleen Babineaux Blanco appointed her as Deputy Secretary of that agency. As Deputy Secretary, she continued to work on issues including coastal restoration, air quality, water resources, environmental justice and environmental education. She was also appointed President of the Association of State and Interstate Water Pollution Control Administrators (ASIWPCA).
Today, she is the head of government relations for The Nature Conservancy of Louisiana and an active participant in the America's Energy Coast initiative.