Kristin Saunders

Assistant Secretary of the Maryland Department of Natural Resources

Photo of Kristin Saunders


Assistant Secretary Kristin Saunders has been a member of the Department of Natural Resources DNR’s leadership team since 2003, serving first as Chief of Staff to the Secretary before taking over the leadership of the agency’s Land Resources division.

In her current role, she oversees policy and management of the 500,000 public recreation and conservation land holdings of Parks, Forests, Wildlife Management Areas as well as Land Acquisition and Planning, Engineering and Construction and the Maryland Environmental Trust.

Kristin has served on the Presidential Advisory Commissions for the War of 1812 Star Spangled Banner Trail and the Captain John Smith Trail; has been instrumental in the department’s initiatives for Harriet Tubman, the Conservation Jobs Corps, Sustainable Forestry and No Net Loss of Forests policy, and sustainable best management and conservation practices on public lands and facilities. She also Chairs the Stewardship Goal Implementation Team of the Chesapeake Bay Program

A public servant for 24 years, Kristin began her career in State Government in 1989, handling travel advance, constituent services, special projects and the Board of Public Works for Governor William Donald Schaefer. She served the Glendening Administration for two years as Board of Public Works liaison and Director of Cabinet and Special Projects office, before heading to the University of Maryland Baltimore in 1996 as Government Affairs Administrator.

In 1998, Kristin returned to work for her mentor William Donald Schaefer as the State Director for his Campaign for Comptroller and after his election, served as a Special Assistant for Intergovernmental Affairs.

Kristin holds a Master of Public Administration from the University of Baltimore, and a Bachelor of Science in Journalism from the University of Maryland College Park.

A native of Maryland’s Eastern Shore and lifelong Maryland resident, Kristin lives in Annapolis with her son, Elvis.