(JACKSON, Miss.) – Gary C. Rikard, Executive Director of the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ), announced that he is leaving the agency January 13, 2020. Rikard has served as Executive Director since appointed by Governor Phil Bryant in September 2014. He previously worked at the agency as an Environmental Engineer and a Senior Attorney in the 1990s before practicing environmental law in the private sector.

“It has been my great honor to serve as MDEQ’s Executive Director during the past five years. I want to thank Governor Bryant for the opportunity and privilege to lead the agency that has meant so much to me. After thoughtful consideration and prayer, I have decided to step down. This is a difficult decision as it is incredibly hard to give up something you love, but my family and I decided it is time to move on to the next chapter of our lives.

“The past five years have been some of the most enjoyable of my life. I have such great respect and admiration for the MDEQ staff, and the friendships that I have made will be lifelong. I have truly enjoyed coming to work,” said Rikard.

Rikard earned a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from Christian Brothers University, completed graduate studies in environmental engineering at the University of Mississippi School of Engineering, and holds a juris doctor degree from the University of Mississippi School of Law. He is a native of DeSoto County and, along with his wife Karen and their daughter Laura, resides in Madison, Mississippi.

MDEQ is responsible for protecting the state’s environment and administers most of the U. S. EPA programs, including air, water and waste management activities; monitors, models, and regulates water use; and functions as the state geological survey.

Link to full bio for Gary Rikard. 

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