Gov. Little appoints Jess Byrne as Department of Environmental Quality Director

Monday August 31, 2020

Boise, Idaho – Governor Brad Little announced today the appointment of Jess Byrne as director of the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality.

“Jess is committed to the vision of ensuring Idaho’s environment enhances healthy living and supports thriving communities,” Governor Little said. “His years of experience as deputy director make him uniquely capable to serve in this important position.”

Byrne has served as deputy director for the DEQ since April of 2012. Since that time, Byrne has twice served as interim director. He earned his Bachelor of Science in environmental health from Boise State University in 1999 and received a Master of Public Administration from BSU in 2004.

“I am honored Governor Little entrusted me with the opportunity to serve as DEQ’s director,” Byrne said. “I look forward to working with our partners throughout the state to continue finding the appropriate balance between environmental protection and economic development to ensure our state’s long-term success.”

Byrne will replace DEQ Director John Tippets. Tippets was appointed to the position in July 2015 and retired in July 2020.

“I want to thank Director Tippets for his years of service to the people and resources of Idaho,” Governor Little said. “I wish him well in his retirement.”

Byrne’s appointment is effective today.

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NEWS MEDIA CONTACT: Marissa Morrison Hyer, Press Secretary

208-943-1686 or


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