Hilary Franz was sworn in as Washington’s 14th Commissioner of Public Lands on January 11, 2017. The Commissioner of Public Lands administers the state Department of Natural Resources and its 1,500 employees, directs the management of over 5.6 million acres of state-owned lands, supervises DNR's wildfire protection on millions of acres of state and private forestlands, and chairs the state’s Board of Natural Resources and the Forest Practices Board.
Prior to being elected, Commissioner Franz was executive director of Futurewise, an organization committed to implementing smart, sustainable land use and transportation policies. In this role, she brought together local governments, non-profit organizations, and citizen groups to protect the environment and grow strong local economies. She served four years on the Bainbridge Island City Council, where she developed nationally-recognized energy and environmental policies and programs. In addition, Hilary has served on numerous state and regional boards and commissions, working to strengthen and protect both the environment and local economies. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Smith College and a juris doctor from Northeastern University Law School.
Hilary is a third-generation farmer and small forest landowner. She is the mother of three wonderful sons, whom she raised on a small historic farm along with 12 sheep, 2 goats, 7 pigs, 3 cats, and 100 chickens.