MDC names new deputy directors

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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) announces changes to its leadership team with the Nov. 1 appointments of Jennifer Battson Warren to the position of Deputy Director–Business and Aaron Jeffries to the position of Deputy Director–Outreach and Policy.

As Deputy Director–Business, Battson Warren will supervise the Department's construction division, business administration, and information technology unit. Battson Warren will also work closely with the Department's Chief Financial Officer on strategic budget development, will chair the Department's Realty Committee and Capitol Improvements and Information Technology Committee, and will serve as the agency's point of contact for county and municipal governments.

As Deputy Director–Outreach and Policy, Jeffries will supervise the Outreach and Education division, which includes the Department's nature centers, shooting ranges, outreach programs, publications, and state and federal governmental relations. Jeffries will also continue to serve as lead liaison with members of the General Assembly and Executive Branch, U.S. Congress, and provide interagency coordination with various federal, state, and non-governmental interest groups.

Battson Warren holds a bachelor's degree in Forestry from the University of Missouri-Columbia. She began her career with MDC in 1996. She has held several positions with the Department in multiple divisions, including Resource Forester Assistant, Management Forester, GIS Analyst, Private Land Conservationist, Forestry Programs Specialist, Wildlife Regional Supervisor, Wildlife Management Chief, and most recently Wildlife Division Chief since 2012.

Battson Warren resides in Jefferson City with her husband and three children. Her outdoor interests include turkey hunting, hiking, fishing and frogging.

"With her field experience, management experience, and strong leadership skills, Jennifer has the expertise to provide the strategic direction necessary in her new role as Deputy Director–Business," said MDC Director Robert Ziehmer.

Jeffries holds a bachelor's degree in Plant Science and a master's degree in Fisheries and Wildlife Science from the University of Missouri-Columbia. He started his career with MDC in 2000. He has held several positions with the Department including Wildlife Biologist, Policy Specialist, Area Biologist, Upland Game Coordinator, Governmental Relations Specialist, Private Land Program Supervisor, and most recently Assistant to the Director since 2009.

Jeffries resides in Jefferson City with his wife and two children. His outdoor interests include upland bird hunting, turkey hunting, fishing, canoeing, and habitat work.

"Aaron's strong communication and leadership skills and experience with governmental affairs will continue to benefit the agency," said Ziehmer.

The position of Deputy Director–Resource Management, currently held by Tom Draper, will continue to supervise the Fisheries, Forestry, Private Land Services, Protection, Resource Science, and Wildlife divisions.