Pritzker names new director of Department of Natural Resources

Natalie Phelps Finnie

Natalie Phelps Finnie has been appointed director of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced.

Phelps Finnie, a lifelong southern Illinoisan, has served as deputy director of IDNR since August 2021, overseeing the Office of Land Management, legislative affairs, the Office of Oil and Gas Management, and the Office of Mine and Minerals.

She is a former state representative, serving the 118th Legislative District in the General Assembly from 2017 to 2019.

Science and biology are strong in her background. She has worked as an advanced practice nurse and a family nurse practitioner. She earned a bachelor’s degree in nursing from the University of Southern Indiana and a master’s degree in nursing from Vanderbilt University.

She and her husband, Kyle, have three children — Lilly, Addy and Clay. They are active members of Star General Baptist Church in Eldorado. As a member of a family with a strong singing tradition, she is involved with the music ministry at church and sings in a gospel trio with her two sisters, known as The Phelps Sisters.

The appointment must be confirmed by the Illinois Senate.