Press Release

Press Release Transition Announced at the Department of Conservation and Recreation

For immediate release:
6/22/2022
  • Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs
  • Department of Conservation & Recreation

Media Contact for Transition Announced at the Department of Conservation and Recreation

Troy Wall, Communications Director

BOSTONToday, Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Beth Card announced the departure of Department of Conservation and Recreation Acting Commissioner Stephanie Cooper and the appointment of Doug Rice, former General Counsel at DCR and currently Director of Procurement for the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority (MWRA) as the incoming Commissioner, effective June 24, 2022.

“Acting Commissioner Cooper has been a vital asset steering the Department of Conservation and Recreation, she demonstrated her commitment to the agency’s mission, its staff, and the state parks system every day. I am very grateful for her service, ” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Beth Card. “I am excited to welcome Doug to the team, and have confidence that he will be a strong advocate and supporter of our state’s natural, cultural, and recreational resources.”

In November 2021, Acting Commissioner Cooper was appointed to lead the more than 450,000-acre state parks system, which includes parks, forests, reservations, pools, beaches, watershed lands, rinks, and thousands of miles of trails. During her tenure at the agency, she has helped guide DCR to conduct an agency-wide strategic evaluation process, recruit hundreds of lifeguards, and commence ARPA project planning for the department.

Cooper will return to her role as the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection’s (MassDEP) Deputy Commissioner of Policy and Planning.

Doug Rice, Commissioner, Department of Conservation and Recreation

Doug Rice first joined the MWRA in August 2016, serving as the agency’s Deputy Contracts Manager before being promoted to Director of Procurement. Prior to joining the MWRA, he served as General Counsel for DCR from July 2011 to August 2016. Doug has also previously served as the General Counsel for the Massachusetts Recovery & Reinvestment Office, an Assistant Attorney General, and an Assistant District Attorney for the Office of the Middlesex District Attorney.

Rice received a Juris Doctor Degree from Suffolk University Law School, and a Bachelor of Arts Degree with a concentration in International Politics from the George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs.

Originally from Melrose, Rice lives in the City of Malden with his wife and their daughter.

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Media Contact for Transition Announced at the Department of Conservation and Recreation

Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs 

EEA seeks to protect, preserve, and enhance the Commonwealth’s environmental resources while ensuring a clean energy future for the state’s residents. Through the stewardship of open space, protection of environmental resources, and enhancement of clean energy, the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs works tirelessly to make Massachusetts a wonderful place to live, work, and raise a family.

Department of Conservation & Recreation 

DCR manages state parks and oversees more than 450,000 acres throughout Massachusetts. It protects, promotes, and enhances the state’s natural, cultural, and recreational resources.

The health and happiness of people across Massachusetts depends on the accessibility and quality of our natural resources, recreational facilities, and great historic landscapes. DCR continues to improve the vital connection between people and the environment.
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