Board Member, Detroit RiverFront Conservancy
Director, Department of Natural Resources - State of Michigan
With an extensive background in policy development, strategic planning and relationship building – and a lifelong love of hunting, fishing, camping and hiking – Keith Creagh brings plenty of experience and insight to his position as Director of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR).
Prior to his July 2012 appointment by Governor Rick Snyder, Creagh had been serving as Director of the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD), a position he had held since January 1, 2011.
Complementing his public service, Creagh worked as Director of Industry Affairs for the Neogen Corporation, a company that develops and provides food and animal safety solutions to the agri-food industry. In that capacity, he established and maintained relationships with the scientific community and regulatory agencies at the state and federal level, as well as oversaw international product registrations and manufacturing operations at Neogen's Wisconsin manufacturing plant.
Creagh's state government service started in 1974. He’s tackled a wide range of MDARD positions during that tenure, including chief deputy director (covering administration, legislative, policy at both state and federal level), land use deputy director (with both MDARD and the DNR), where he coordinated a multi-agency implementation plan in response to the recommendations from the governor-appointed Michigan Land Use Leadership Council. He also provided leadership for the Farm Bill and conservation programs, bringing together conservation organizations, state and federal agencies, and local conservation districts to establish conservation practices in the state.
Those assignments provided opportunities to work closely with stakeholders, federal agencies, the Michigan Legislature and U.S. Congress, and gave Creagh key experience with invasive and exotic species, conservation easements and environmental stewardship.
In December 2015, Governor Snyder called upon Creagh to take a leave from the DNR in order to lead the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) during the Flint Water Crisis and the department’s restructuring period. He returned to the DNR in June 2016, but continues to serve as the administration’s lead on Flint drinking water recovery.
Director Creagh has a Bachelor of Science degree in forestry from Michigan Technological University, and continues to collaborate with Michigan's universities and colleges on a variety of issues.
Director Creagh and his wife, Laska, have four children and reside in Williamston.