Top management changes announced at DENR

North Carolina’s new environment secretary has announced management changes that include replacing two top assistants named by his predecessor.

Out are assistant secretaries Mitch Gillespie, who will move to the Asheville regional office, and Brad Ives, who has left the department.

Secretary Donald van der Vaart said longtime water resources chief Tom Reeder will replace Gillespie as assistant secretary for the environment. Reeder has been with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources since 1998.

Gillespie, a former legislator who joined the department in January 2013, will take a new position as DENR liaison based in Asheville.

Ives, also appointed in January 2013, resigned this week as assistant secretary for natural resources, the department said in a news release.

Mary Joan Pugh, who is deputy director of the North Carolina Zoo, will replace Ives temporarily until a permanent replacement is named. Pugh served as an assistant DENR secretary in the late 1980s.

Gov. Pat McCrory named van der Vaart secretary last month. John Skvarla, the former environment secretary, became commerce secretary.