Sara Parker Pauley was appointed by the Missouri Conservation Commission in 2016 as the director of the Missouri Department of Conservation, making her the first female director in the department’s 80-year history. She previously served as the director of the Missouri Department of Natural Resources. She also has worked as a project manager for D.J. Case & Associates, a natural resources communications firm. She worked with federal and state agencies on policy development, marketing, and environmental compliance. She also served as chief of staff to former Missouri House Speaker Steve Gaw.
A lifelong conservationist and an avid hunter, Sara has been an executive committee and board member of the Conservation Federation of Missouri. She was a member of the board of the American National Fish & Wildlife Museum, where she served as director of conservation programs. She has published a number of articles on wildlife and natural resources management and was honored with the Bass Pro Conservation Partners of the Year Award.
A native of Columbia, Sara received both her bachelor’s degree in journalism and her law degree from the University of Missouri-Columbia, and did post-graduate studies in Australia as a Rotary Fellow. She is a graduate of Hickman High School.