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Panelist Bio


Karen Gautreaux
The Nature Conservancy, Louisiana Chapter

Karen Gautreaux is the Director of Government Relations for The Nature Conservancy’s Louisiana Office, where she works with local, state, federal, and other NGO partners on issues important to conservation in the state and Gulf region, with restoration of Louisiana’s coast being one of the biggest of those issues.

Karen Gautreaux began her public service career in 1989 in the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality's (DEQ) Office of Policy and Planning. She joined former Governor Buddy Roemer's Office of Environmental Affairs later that year and continued to work on natural resource and environmental policy issues through February 2004.

Her responsibilities included heading the Governor's Office of Coastal Activities where she played an active role in developing the state's current groundwater management policy while serving as chair of the Governor's Water Policy Advisory Task Force, the Ground Water Management Commission and the Groundwater Management Task Force.

She returned to DEQ in February 2004 after Governor Kathleen Babineaux Blanco appointed her as Deputy Secretary of that agency. As Deputy Secretary, she continued to work on issues including coastal restoration, air quality, water resources, environmental justice and environmental education. She was also appointed President of the Association of State and Interstate Water Pollution Control Administrators (ASIWPCA).

She also serves on the board of America’s WETLAND Foundation.

Current Topic


07/14 - Defining “Dangerous”

How does Louisiana determine if someone is a danger to themselves or others?

Special Presentation


Breaking Away:  A Louisiana Public Square Special Presentation

Would the breakaway City of St. George quash Baton Rouge’s school desegregation progress?

Coming Soon!


08/14 - Down the Road: Our Transportation Future

What should the state’s transportation priorities be?

Recent Topics


06/14 - Pot or Not? The Decriminalization Debate (Encore Presentation)

Would a reduction in penalties encourage more usage and lead the state down a path to legalization?


05/14 - Job Market 2014

What does Louisiana’s employment market look like for job hunters in 2014?


04/14 - State Contracts 101

Will proposed legislation help rein in costs or create arbitrary caps that hinder agencies in delivering services?


03/14 - Louisiana and The Minimum Wage

Should Louisiana develop its own minimum wage?

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