Secretary of Conservation & Natural Resources

Cindy Adams Dunn

“I have spent my career in conservation and public service, working to ensure that all Pennsylvanians have access to the majesty of Penn’s Woods, and look forward to the opportunity to continue this work as Secretary of DCNR.”

Cindy Adams Dunn

Cindy Adams Dunn has served as the Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources since 2015. 

She has served multiple positions in the agency under three governors during the last three decades. During her tenure, Ms. Dunn has helped position Pennsylvania as a leader in land conservation, outdoor recreation, green practices, and public land management. Under her leadership, the department: Created the Pennsylvania Outdoor Corps to connect youth and young adults with job opportunities relating to the outdoors and the environment, advanced water quality initiatives within the Chesapeake Bay and across the commonwealth through investments in conservation, buffer plantings, and restoration, advanced mitigation and adaption best practices related to climate change, managed the highest visitation at state parks and forests, received historical levels of funding to address the growing conservation and recreation needs of the commonwealth.

Ms. Dunn’s non-profit conservation and advocacy roles include serving as the president and chief executive officer of PennFuture, state director of Audubon Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania coordinator for Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay, and as an environmental educator for the Chesapeake Bay Foundation. 

Her past DCNR roles includes serving as Deputy Secretary of Conservation and Technical Services from 2007-2013, where she led Conservation Landscape program and oversaw the grant program, which provides $30-$60 million annually for conservation and recreation throughout the commonwealth.  

Her other leadership posts include Director of the Bureau of Recreation and Conservation and Director of the Office of Education, Communications, and Partnerships.

Ms. Dunn first joined DCNR in the mid-1990s as Director of Community Relations and Environmental Education. Over the years, Ms. Dunn has been recognized with numerous awards for her leadership in conservation including:

  • Pennsylvania Environmental Council’s Lifetime Achievement Award
  • The Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay’s Frances E. Flanigan Environmental Leadership Award
  • Pennsylvania Federation of Sportsmen’s Clubs and Pennsylvania Wildlife Federation Conservationist of the Year
  • Cumberland County Conservation District Conservationist of the Year
  • The Pennsylvania Recreation and Park Society Local Government Award
  • Pennsylvania Association of Environmental Professionals Karl Mason Award
  • The National Wildlife Federation Women in History Award
  • The Schuylkill River National Heritage Area Legacy Award

Ms. Dunn holds a bachelor’s and master’s degree in biology from Shippensburg University. She and her husband, Craig, reside in Cumberland County.

When not championing the efforts of DCNR, Ms. Dunn enjoys the natural and recreation resources DCNR works hard to protect and promote through hobbies that include birding, canoeing, fishing, and hiking.