About the Commissioner
Tom Burack has served as the Commissioner of the NH Department of Environmental Services since November 2006. He has focused the department on providing exceptional customer service in all of its programs while also addressing the new environmental challenges of a changing climate and transitioning to a clean energy economy, as well as ensuring long-term stewardship of the state's precious natural resources, especially its lands and waters.
Having served as DES Commissioner under two Governors, John Lynch and Maggie Hassan, Tom had previously been an attorney in private law practice, representing a wide range of businesses, institutions and individuals in environmental, health and safety, and energy matters. Now one of the most senior state environmental agency leaders in the country, Tom is serving as the first state co-chair of E-Enterprise for the Environment, a joint, collaborative effort of the states and the US Environmental Protection Agency to modernize the delivery of environmental protection in the United States. Tom entered this role after serving as President of the Environmental Council of the States (ECOS), a non-profit, non-partisan association of state and territorial agency leaders whose purpose is to improve the capability of state environmental agencies and their leaders to protect and improve human health and the environment.
With respect to energy and climate matters, since its formation in 2008, Tom has been a member of the Board of Directors of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, Inc. and Chair of its Audit Committee. Tom served as the Chair of the Governor's Climate Change Policy Task Force (appointed by Governor Lynch), which completed development of the New Hampshire Climate Action Plan in March 2009. Tom subsequently served as Chair of the New Hampshire Energy and Climate Collaborative and as a member of the State Energy Advisory Council, which in 2014 developed and released a ten-year energy strategy for the State of New Hampshire.
With respect to management of the state's natural resources, Tom served on the NH Water Sustainability Commission (appointed by Governor Lynch), and is currently a member of the steering committee for NH Lives on Water (the NH2O initiative), an effort to develop a broad stakeholder group to promote wise stewardship of the state's water resources.
Tom has been a leader in promoting greater efficiency and effectiveness of New Hampshire state government programs through the use of Lean and other continuous process improvement management strategies. He is currently serving as a member of the Commission on Innovation, Efficiency and Transparency in New Hampshire State Government (appointed by Governor Hassan). In addition, since its inception in 2008, Tom has served in the coordinating role for the Commissioners Group, an informal partnership among Commissioners of approximately two dozen state agencies dedicated to improving the operations of the executive branch of New Hampshire state government.
Prior to joining DES, Tom was an active participant in the NH Business & Industry Association's environmental programs and also served as chair and a member of the boards of directors of both the NH Land and Community Heritage Investment Program and the Audubon Society of New Hampshire.
Tom graduated from Dartmouth College and the University of Virginia School of Law, and is a Harry S. Truman Scholar. He resides in Hopkinton, NH with his wife and two school-aged children.