Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Commissioner Sarah Strommen today announced the appointment of Theresa Ebbenga to the northwest regional director position recently vacated by Rita Albrecht, who held the post from 2016 until her retirement in early July.
Ebbenga currently serves as assistant regional manager for the DNR’s Ecological and Water Resources. She will start her new job on Aug. 6.
"Theresa will be a great fit for this job. She has demonstrated strong leadership skills over her tenure with the DNR, and her experience in bringing together diverse perspectives to shape policy and best practices will be an asset to our leadership team," Strommen said.
Headquartered in Bemidji, the DNR’s northwest region includes 23 counties, from Lake of the Woods County in the north to Pope County in the south, and from the town of Walker in the east to Moorhead in the west. The region offers a wide range of recreational opportunities, a variety of land uses, and diversity of landscapes, including prairie grasslands, aspen parklands, and deciduous and coniferous forests.
Prior to joining the DNR, Ebbenga worked with the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, where she served in a variety of technical and management capacities in multiple states. In 2013, she was promoted to the Conservation and Conveyance Division Chief in Sacramento, California, and worked on complex and controversial water delivery projects. Ebbenga joined the DNR in 2015 as the northwest region’s environmental ecologist.
Ebbenga received her bachelor’s degree in wildlife biology from Minnesota State University Moorhead in 1992, and a master’s degree in environmental policy from the University of Denver in 2013. She has two grown children, a dog and two cats. She loves all things outdoors and particularly enjoys hiking, fishing, hunting and kayaking.