CDPHE announces Shaun McGrath as new director of environmental programs

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REMOTE (April 21, 2021): Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment announced today that it has hired Shaun McGrath, most recently director of the Montana Department of Environmental Quality, to be the department’s new director of environmental programs. He succeeds John Putnam, who left in January to take a position with the federal government.

From May 2013 to January 2017, McGrath was regional administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Region 8 office in Denver, which oversees six states (including Colorado) and 27 Native American tribes. As CDPHE looks to work productively with a new Environmental Protection Agency to achieve ambitious environmental objectives, McGrath’s experience at the federal level is invaluable.

“It’s a true honor to join CDPHE in this important role,” said McGrath. “CDPHE has big expectations, and rightly so. Colorado is an extraordinary place, and I am honored to join the State’s many public servants who are committed to achieving extraordinary things on its behalf.”

In addition to working in the private and non-profit sectors to advance clean energy objectives, McGrath served as deputy director of the White House Office of Intergovernmental Affairs during the first two years of the Obama Administration.

McGrath spent nearly five and a half years on the Boulder City Council, including serving one year as mayor. He also worked for nearly 14 years as program director for the Western Governors Association, developing environmental programs and working with both state and federal officials. 

“Shaun possesses a unique level of experience in environmental public policy,” said Jill Hunsaker Ryan, executive director of the CDPHE. “He’s worked at the local, state and federal levels of government, and he knows how to navigate this complicated terrain to get things done for the people he serves. We had a tremendous group of candidates for this position, but I am confident that Shaun is the right choice to advance our ambitious environmental agenda — clean air, clean water, leading the global fight against climate change and creating a more just, equitable and prosperous future for Colorado.”