Donald R. van der Vaart
Secretary, N.C. Department of
Environment and Natural Resources
Gov. Pat McCrory named Donald R. van der Vaart Secretary of the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources effective Jan. 1, 2015.
Since Aug. 2014, van der Vaart has served as DENR's deputy secretary, and as the department’s energy policy advisor.
Before becoming deputy secretary and energy policy advisor, van der Vaart worked as an engineering supervisor and later as program manager for the N.C. Division of Air Quality. He also teaches environmental policy and law at N.C. State University. His previous work includes scientific research at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University and at Research Triangle Institute. Van der Vaart also has experience in research and regulatory positions for energy and utility companies in the private sector.
Van der Vaart holds a doctorate in Chemical Engineering from the University of Cambridge (England), a law degree from North Carolina Central University, a master’s degree in Chemical Engineering from N.C. State University, and a bachelor’s degree in Chemistry from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is a licensed Professional Engineer and attorney in North Carolina. He has published numerous technical and legal articles and holds two patents.