Executive Committee

The executive committee is a cabinet-level committee that includes the secretary of the Natural Resources Agency, the director of the Department of Fish and Game, the president of the Fish and Game Commission, the chair of the California Energy Commission, and a representative of the University of California. Members of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Marine Fisheries Service are also invited to participate. The committee is charged with developing a strategic vision for the Department of Fish and Game and the Fish and Game Commission. The secretary of the Natural Resources Agency serves as chair of the executive committee.

Executive Committee Members

John Laird, Secretary for Natural Resources

John Laird was appointed California Secretary for Natural Resources by Governor Jerry Brown on Jan. 5, 2011. He has spent 35 years in public service, including 23 years as an elected official. While serving the maximum three terms in the Assembly, Secretary Laird authored 82 bills that were signed into law. These bills established the landmark Sierra Nevada Conservancy, restored community college health services, expanded and clarified state civil rights protections, reformed the state mandates system, and significantly expanded water conservation.

Secretary Laird has been a long-time resident of Santa Cruz with his spouse John Flores. He has traveled extensively, is fluent in Spanish, enjoys conducting family history research, and is a life-long Chicago Cubs fan.

Charlton “Chuck” Bonham, Director, Department of Fish and Game

Charlton “Chuck” Bonham was appointed director of the California Department of Fish and Game, effective Sept. 6, 2011. Prior to his appointment, Mr. Bonham served in a number of positions for Trout Unlimited (TU) over a 10 year period, including senior attorney and director of the organization’s California office.

Mr. Bonham was responsible for developing, managing and implementing TU's programs in California. These programs included the California Water Project, Sportsmen’s Conservation Project, and restoration and watershed projects in both northern and southern California.

Mr. Bonham received his J.D. and Environmental and Natural Resources Law Certificate from the Northwestern School of Law of Lewis and Clark College, in Portland, Oregon. He also served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Senegal, West Africa, and as an instructor and guide at the Nantahala Outdoor Center, in Bryson City, N.C.

Dr. Robert Weisenmiller, Chair, California Energy Commission

Dr. Robert Weisenmiller was appointed to the California Energy Commission by Governor Jerry Brown in January 2011 and appointed Chair in February. He fills the engineer/scientist position on the five-member commission. Chair Weisenmiller brings more than 30 years of energy experience to the Commission including expertise in electricity and gas markets and California regulatory policies.

Before his appointment, Dr. Weisenmiller, a co-founder of MRW & Associates, used his expertise to assist businesses, financial institutions, regulatory commissions, and public agencies in strategic planning and policy development. Chair Weisenmiller was also the co-founder and executive vice president of Independent Power Corporation.

Chair Weisenmiller holds a doctorate in chemistry and a master’s in energy and resources from University of California, Berkeley, and received his Bachelor of Science in chemistry from Providence College.

Daniel W. Richards, President, California Fish and Game Commission

Daniel Richards of Upland was appointed to the Fish and Game Commission on February 14, 2008. Daniel is a graduate of West Virginia University. He is married to Judy K. Richards and has a married daughter Kendra L. Richards-Miller. For the past 25 years, he has dealt in commercial real estate and real estate development. Currently he owns Coldwell Banker Commercial Inland Empire and is one of the top 50 Coldwell Banker Commercial Brokers, worldwide.

Along with being involved in many community activities, he is currently a Life Member of The Society for the Conservation of Bighorn Sheep and Trout Unlimited. Daniel is also a supporting member of Ducks Unlimited and various other conservation organizations. He works closely with non-profit organizations in the Upland area to help them grow and find success, and has recently received the Leadership Award from the Foothill Family Shelter. Daniel enjoys fly fishing, hunting, and traveling with his family.

Daniel M. Dooley, Vice President, University of California Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources Daniel M. Dooley was appointed vice president – agriculture and natural resources Jan. 2, 2008. As system-wide vice president for the University of California Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources (ANR), Vice-President Dooley leads a statewide research and public service organization responsible for activities in agriculture, natural resources, environmental sciences, family and consumer sciences, forestry, human and community development, 4-H/youth development, and related areas.

Vice President Dooley was a partner at Dooley, Herr and Peltzer, LLP, a Visalia-based law firm emphasizing agricultural, environmental, business, and water rights law, from 1993 to 2007. From 1980 to 2002, he was a partner in family-owned Dooley Farms, a San Joaquin Valley farming operation that produces cotton, alfalfa and walnuts.

A native of Hanford, Vice President Dooley received his bachelor's degree in agricultural economics from UC Davis and his J.D. from the McGeorge School of Law at the University of the Pacific. He is also a graduate of the California Agricultural Leadership Program.

Ren Lohoefener, Regional Director, Pacific Southwest, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services

Ren Lohoefener serves as the regional director of the Pacific Southwest Region. From the headquarters in Sacramento, Director Lohoefener oversees programs in California, Nevada, and the Klamath Basin that administer the Endangered Species Act and Migratory Bird Treaty Act, and manages 51 national wildlife refuges and three national fish hatcheries.

Prior to coming to Sacramento, Director Lohoefener served as the regional director of the Pacific Region of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, based in Portland, Ore. Director Lohoefener joined the Fish and Wildlife Service in 1989 after working for six years as an ecologist for the National Marine Fisheries Service. Before that, he was a Research Associate and Adjunct Professor at Mississippi State University.

A native of Kansas, Director Lohoefener received his Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees from Fort Hays State University in Kansas and his doctorate from Mississippi State University. He is also a veteran of the U.S. Army.

Rodney R. McInnis, Regional Administrator, National Marine Fisheries Service

Rodney R. McInnis is the regional administrator for the National Marine Fisheries Service (a.k.a. NOAA Fisheries) Southwest Region which encompasses California, Arizona and Nevada. Director McInnis has 25 years of experience in conservation and management of living marine resources in the Pacific in his work for NOAA Fisheries and the Pacific Fishery Management Council. He has broad experience as an administrator and regulator in implementing the major federal statutes and policies related to the conservation of living marine resources, including the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, Marine Mammal Protection Act, and the Endangered Species Act. He has managed programs for fisheries observers, regulation formulation and writing, environmental impact analysis, habitat conservation, fishery management, and conservation of protected species.

Director McInnis earned a master’s in biology and a Bachelor of Arts from San Francisco State University. His graduate work was conducted through the graduate studies program at the Moss Landing Marine Laboratories