Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Commissioner Tom Landwehr has appointed long-time public servant Rita Albrecht as the DNR’s northwest regional director in Bemidji.
Albrecht has been a planner for the DNR’s northwest region for nearly three years; her new appointment begins Wednesday, Sept. 7.
“I’m excited to take on this new role,” Albrecht said. “I look forward to working in partnership with our dedicated staff and constituents to continue managing our resources to benefit the recreational and economic health of the region and state.”
Previous to her work with the DNR, Albrecht served as a community planner and economic development director for the city of Bemidji, development specialist for Headwaters Regional Development Commission, and planner and economic development specialist for the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe. She is currently the mayor of Bemidji. Albrecht holds two bachelor’s degrees from Bemidji State University, in geography and education.
Albrecht is the president of Bemidji Economic Development Authority and serves on the boards of Greater Bemidji Area Joint Planning, Bemidji State University Alumni and Foundation, Greater Bemidji, and the Coalition of Greater Minnesota Cities. She also serves on the Greater Minnesota Regional Parks and Trails Commission and the Governor’s Workforce Development Board, having been appointed to both by Gov. Mark Dayton in 2013.
“We are pleased to have Rita join our management team at the DNR,” Landwehr said. “Her depth of experience and service to the public is invaluable to our agency.”
The DNR’s field operations are organized into four regions: northwest, northeast, central and southern, with agency headquarters located in St. Paul. The regional directors serve as the commissioner’s liaison to the region and coordinate the work of the regional management team in implementing resource and policy decisions. They serve as members of the commissioner’s senior management team and participate in departmental policy development.
Albrecht replaces former regional director Greg Nelson, who retired Aug. 2 after serving more than 34 years with the agency.