PIERRE, S.D. – Governor Kristi Noem today announced that Hunter Roberts will join her administration as Secretary of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR). This follows the retirement of Steve Pirner, who has led DENR since 2000. Roberts will begin serving in this capacity on August 5.
“I am grateful for Steve’s dedication to his department over the years and the ways he has worked to preserve and enhance South Dakota’s environment,” said Noem. “Our natural resources are some of our most precious resources; they are a vital key to preserving our outdoor legacy for the next generation. Hunter’s background and knowledge of state government will be an incredible asset as we continue moving this department forward and working to safeguard our environment.”
“This is a special opportunity for me to join Governor Noem’s team,” said Roberts. “The quality of our air, land, and water resources is critical to sustaining our state’s economy and maintaining healthy environments for our children and families to thrive in. I’m committed to working with communities and stakeholders across the state to protect our environment and manage our natural resources.”
“It’s been an honor to serve in DENR under the leadership of Governor Noem,” said Pirner. “I truly love the department, the people, and our mission.”
Roberts currently serves as deputy secretary and director of labor and management at the Department of Labor and Regulation. Prior to this role, he served as a policy advisor to Governor Dennis Daugaard where he oversaw issues relating to agriculture, energy, environment, land management, and outdoor resources. With his family, he owns and operates a farm and ranch southeast of Ft. Pierre.
Roberts holds a master’s degree in business administration from the University of South Dakota and a juris doctorate of law from the University of South Dakota. He is a Pierre resident.