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Administrative Assistant

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Center for Leadership & Ethics
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500 Anderson Drive
Lexington, VA  24450

Solutions for Top Environmental Challenges 

  • What does Virginia's environmental future look like?  
  • What will it take to get there?  

Join host Secretary of Natural Resources Doug Domenech on Tuesday, 10 April for a discussion with former Virginia Secretaries of Natural Resources Preston Bryant, Becky Norton Dunlop, Tayloe Murphy and John Paul Woodley. With the benefit of experience and hindsight, each Secretary will offer solutions for improving the Commonwealth’s environmental health and economic opportunities. 

Panel Host

Doug Domenech

Doug Domenech (pronounced DOM-en-etch) was appointed Virginia’s Secretary of Natural Resources on January 17, 2010. Sec_Domenech_160 

Prior to his appointment, Mr. Domenech was the Senior Vice President of Artemis Strategies; a Washington, DC based bipartisan government relations and strategic communications firm. He was also a principal at Chrysalis Energy Partners, a green energy consulting firm focused on onshore and offshore renewable sources including biomass, wind and solar.

Domenech served in the George W. Bush Administration at the U.S. Department of Interior from 2001 to 2009. While there he held positions as Deputy Director of External and Intergovernmental Affairs, White House Liaison, and in 2005 he was appointed Deputy Chief of Staff to the Secretary of the Interior, the number two staff position in the Office of the Secretary. In this position he worked with senior managers for all nine Interior Bureaus, had senior oversight of the US/UNESCO World Heritage Program administered by the United Nations, and oversaw the Interior Crisis Action Team.

Mr. Domenech also served as the Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary of Insular Affairs where he managed U.S. relations with seven insular areas including US Territories of the Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands and US Freely Associated States of Palau, Federated States of Micronesia, and the Marshall Islands. Policy issues addressed in this role included energy, security, economic development and health.

Prior to serving at the U.S. Department of the Interior, Mr. Domenech had a long career in natural resource management. Upon graduating from college in 1978 he served as the Acting Director of the Timber Harvesting Management Program at Alabama A&M University where he conducted field research funded by the USDA Forest Service and Tennessee Valley Authority. In 1981 he went to work for the Forest Resources Association, a national technical trade association which represents produces and consumers of raw wood material. He began as the Southwestern Division Forester in Jackson, MS, and then moved to become the Southeastern Division Forester in Charleston, SC. He later became the Director of Forestry Programs at the FRA's headquarters in Washington, DC from 1990-1993.

Mr. Domenech was appointed by Governor George Allen to the Goose Creek Scenic River Advisory Board and the Commonwealth Competition Council. Under Governor Jim Gilmore he was appointed to the Virginia Board of Forestry. He also formerly served on the Advisory Council of the Conservation Trust of Puerto Rico.

He received his Bachelors of Science in Forestry and Wildlife Management from Virginia Tech in 1978.

[Bio courtesy of]


Preston Bryant

preston_bryantPreston Bryant is a senior vice president at McGuireWoods Consulting where he works in the firm's Infrastructure and Economic Development group. His expertise lies in water, wastewater and energy generation projects, and he advises clients on project site selection and regulatory affairs. 

For the past 15 years, Preston's experience in environmental and energy matters has developed from his work in both the public and private sectors. Preston was a partner for nearly a decade at Hurt & Proffitt, Inc., a Virginia-based civil engineering, surveying and planning firm that specializes in large-scale residential, commercial, industrial, and institutional developments as well as transportation facilities.

He also represented the City of Lynchburg and Amherst County in the Virginia House of Delegates for 10 years, where he was the House patron of the state's nationally recognized public-private partnership statute (known as "PPEA), passed landmark legislation on wetlands conservation, developed the nation's largest market-based nutrient credit exchange program (phosphorus and nitrogen) to advance upgrades to more than one hundred wastewater treatment plants, and overhauled Virginia's stormwater management programs.

As Virginia Secretary of Natural Resources in the cabinet of Governor Timothy M. Kaine, Preston led the state's six environmental, recreational, wildlife and historic resources agencies, which included a staff of 2,200, and a $420 million annual budget. He also helped write Virginia's first state-wide energy plan. 

In 2009, President Obama appointed Preston to chair the National Capital Planning Commission, the central planning agency for all federal lands and buildings in Washington, D.C., suburban Maryland and Northern Virginia. At NCPC, he presides over a staff of some 45 planners, architects, engineers and other professionals. 

[Bio courtesy of

Becky Norton Dunlop
BeckyNortonDunlop.ashxBecky Norton Dunlop’s duties and travel itinerary as The Heritage Foundation’s vice president for external relations have made her the think tank's “chief ambassador” outside the Beltway.
Dunlop’s speeches and other appearances keep her on the road about 60 days a year, addressing a variety of audiences on how conservative principles meet the challenges of today’s issues. Young people – from kindergarteners to high schoolers to law students – provide some of her favorite interactions amid the rounds of political activists, civic and business groups and government organizations.

Dunlop, who joined Heritage in 1998, oversees four program areas – Coalition Relations, Lectures and Seminars, Young Leaders Program and Strategic Outreach – that are focused on spreading conservative ideas in a host of outside forums. Her responsibilities include advising and consulting with fellow leaders in the private and public sectors.

She previously served inside the White House, at the Department of Justice and at the Department of the Interior as a senior official in the Reagan administration from 1981-1989. She ran her own strategic management and communications consulting firm, Century Communications, and also served from 1994-98 as secretary of natural resources in Virginia under Gov. George Allen. Dunlop considers her work for the nation on behalf of President Ronald Reagan to be among the greatest privileges of her life. From his inauguration in 1981 to 1985, her White House posts included deputy assistant for presidential personnel and special assistant to the president and director of his Cabinet office.

During Reagan’s second term, Dunlop went to Justice in 1985-86 as senior special assistant to Attorney General Edwin Meese, in charge of managing Cabinet-level domestic policy issues. She oversaw major policy reports on the environment, the family, federalism, tort reform, privatization and welfare reform. She completed her service at the Interior Department as assistant secretary for fish, wildlife and parks.
As Virginia’s natural resources chief, Dunlop worked to streamline, decentralize and down-size agencies while protecting and improving the environment. She is one of the few “free-market environmentalists” to have headed a state agency and put ideas into action. Her book, Clearing the Air (Alexis de Tocqueville Institute, 2000), chronicles some of her experiences in advancing those principles.

Dunlop also served in the administration of President George W. Bush. In 2002, Bush appointed her to a part-time post as chairwoman of the Federal Services Impasse Panel, which resolves disputes between agencies and labor unions. Under her leadership, the seven-member panel took on several hundred cases, eliminating backlogs and applying the law in a fair and timely manner.

Her current leadership roles include serving on the boards of the Virginia Institute for Public Policy, the Family Foundation of Virginia, the Reagan Ranch Board of Governors, the Reagan Alumni Association, the Association for American Educators Foundation, the Institute on Religion and Democracy, the American Conservation Union and the Phillips Foundation. In addition to conservative principles and their roots in the nation’s founding, Dunlop is a sought-after public speaker on the idea that personnel is policy; on energy and the environment (including free market environmentalism); and on the Reagan administration (including the 41st president’s effective leadership style).

A graduate of Miami University in Ohio, she resides in Arlington, Va., with her husband, George S. Dunlop. The Dunlops are members of Oakland Baptist Church in Alexandria.

[Bio courtesy of
W. Tayloe Murphy, Jr.

W. Tayloe Murphy, Jr., has been a leading voice for environmental interests for decades, playing an instrumental role in the development of key legislation, regulations and policies. A graduate of the University of Virginia School of Law, murphy

Mr. Murphy was a member of the Virginia House of Delegates from 1982-2000, and Virginia Secretary of Natural Resources from 2002-2006 during the administration of Gov. Mark Warner.

Mr. Murphy served as an officer in the U.S. Naval Reserve during his law school days, and has been practicing law since 1960.

Mr. Murphy lives with his wife on King Copsico Farm in Westmoreland County on the banks of the Potomac river.

He is semi-retired with a limited law practice in Warsaw, Virginia. Mr. Murphy says he spends the balance of his days going around telling people what they ought to do.

[Bio courtesy of]

John Paul Woodley
woodley_johnJohn Paul Woodley, Jr., brings Advantus clients unique insights and abilities he developed while serving at the highest levels of state and federal government. Woodley is a principal in the Environmental and Energy Practice Group at Advantus.

After his tenure as Deputy Attorney General of Virginia for Government Operations, Woodley served as Secretary of Natural Resources for Virginia, with overall responsibility for environmental protection and permitting, outdoor recreation and open space management, inland and marine fisheries and historic resources in the Commonwealth.

In 2001, Woodley was appointed Assistant Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Environment, the principal environmental advisor to the Secretary of Defense is responsible for policy and oversight of the Defense Department's environmental cleanup, compliance, pollution prevention and natural resource management. From 2003 to 2009, Woodley served as Assistant Secretary of the Army (Civil Works), supervising the civil works functions of the Department of the Army, including the civil works activities of the Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) and Arlington National Cemetery.

Strengthening the Corps wetland regulatory program was a major initiative under Woodley's leadership. His most notable accomplishments were overseeing restoration of the Florida Everglades, and the reconstruction of the hurricane protection system for New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina.

Woodley has been honored with the U. S. Army Decoration for Distinguished Civilian Service, the Secretary of Defense Medal for Outstanding Public Service, the Silver de Fleury Medal from the Army Engineer Regiment, and as a Fellow of the U. S. Section of PIANC, the World Association for Waterborne Transport Infrastructure. He and his wife reside in Fairfax County, Virginia. 

[Bio courtesy of]