Chris Kennedy Appointed as New Secretary of Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks by Governor Laura Kelly

By Trish Svoboda

On March 15, Governor Laura Kelly announced she appointed Chris Kennedy as Secretary of the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks (KDWP) effective as of March 18, 2024. Brad Loveless, who started his term with the Department in January 2019, is succeeded by Kennedy.

“I’m grateful to Secretary Loveless for his steadfast commitment to the State of Kansas and our state’s natural resources over the past five years,” Governor Laura Kelly said. “I’m confident that Chris Kennedy is the steadfast leader needed to guide the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks in its next chapter.”

Kennedy, originally from North St. Louis, Missouri, has a background in wildlife and natural resources. His career began with an internship at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service right after high school. He later conducted various water research projects across Kansas, Arkansas, and Louisiana. In 1996, he joined the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC), where he worked until his recent appointment.

During his tenure at MDC, Kennedy worked with private landowners, managed public waters, and educated the public about resources. He is recognized for his research and restoration work on aquatic species, particularly the alligator gar. He also facilitated opportunities for young people to work with resource professionals. Kennedy has appeared on TV shows like National Geographic Channel’s Monster Fish and Animal Planet’s River Monsters, discussing the alligator gar.

“I am honored that Governor Kelly has appointed me to serve the people of Kansas in this capacity,” Chris Kennedy said. “I am delighted that my more than 30 years of experience will further strengthen the KDWP’s mission to conserve and enhance the state’s wildlife and natural resources to be enjoyed by Kansans for generations to come.”

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