New Haven’s Robert Klee is the next leader of the state’s environmental protection agency.
Gov. Dannel Malloy Thursday appointed Klee, who lives in Westville, as the new Commissioner of the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP).
The move was hailed by the Connecticut Fund for the Environment (CFE) and by State Rep. Pat Dillon, who connected Klee to efforts to improve West River water quality.
Klee succeeds Commissioner Dan Esty, who is returning to his post as a professor at Yale. Klee has been the chief of staff at DEEP since April 2011.
Klee has a Yale law degree and a Ph.D. from Yale’s forestry school. He’ll take over as acting commissioner on Feb. 3. His appointment will need to be confirmed by the legislature.
“I want to thank Governor Malloy for this appointment,” said Rep. Dillon. “Rob Klee has a solid background in science—including ecology, geology and forestry. Dr. Klee is a resident of Westville and is familiar with our local issues, including the West River. I am confident Dr. Klee’s appointment bodes well for West River water quality.”
“Mr. Klee is a thoughtful manager and an open-minded thinker, and his background in both environmental policy and environmental science is rock solid,” said Donald Strait, president of CFE.
“Through its conservation work and efforts to make cheaper, cleaner and more reliable energy available for the people and businesses of this state, the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection plays a major role in fostering a sustainable and prosperous economic future for our state,” Governor Malloy said. “Having served as chief of staff for the agency over the last three years, Rob certainly has a strong familiarity with the innovative programs recently put in place to address our long-standing environmental and energy challenges. I’m confident that with Rob serving as Commissioner, we can continue these important efforts to protect our natural resources and quality of life while strengthening our economy and creating jobs.”