Secretary, Vermont Agency of Natural Resources
Deborah Markowitz is the Secretary of the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources, the state agency with primary responsibility for protecting Vermont's environment, natural resources and wildlife and for maintaining Vermont's forests and state parks. Markowitz was named to that position by Governor Peter Shumlin in January 2011.
Secretary Markowitz previously served as Vermont's Secretary of State from 1999 until 2011. Markowitz has a distinguished record of achievement and is widely recognized for enhancing customer service at the Secretary of State's office, improving access to government and strengthening Vermont's democracy.
As Secretary of the Agency of Natural Resources, Markowitz has shaped the environmental agenda of the state, focusing on the challenges of climate change, habitat fragmentation and the need to make Vermont more resilient to flooding. She believes that given today's challenges that Vermont must find new and creative approaches to care for its natural resources, to build strong communities, and to support its working landscape for a sustainable future.
A graduate of the University of Vermont (B.A., 1983), Markowitz received her Juris Doctorate degree from the Georgetown University Law Center (magna cum laude,1987). Markowitz served as a law clerk with Justice Louis Peck of the Vermont Supreme Court (1987 - 1988) and practiced law with Langrock, Sperry, Parker and Wool (1988 - 1990). She served as the founding director of the Vermont League of Cities and Towns Municipal Law Center (1990 - 1997), where she published numerous handbooks and academic papers on local government law and lectured locally and nationally on issues related to municipal law and on ethics in government. Markowitz is the author of the Vermont Municipal Guide to Land Use Regulation (1997) and Vermont Municipal Environmental Handbook (1995).
Markowitz has served on numerous state and national boards and commissions and is the founder of the Vermont Women's Leadership Initiative and Vermont Votes for Kids. She has been recognized nationally for her leadership by being awarded an Aspen Institute Rodel fellowship.
Secretary Markowitz and her husband Paul live in Montpelier with their three children where they spend their free time hiking, paddling, gardening and cross-country skiing.