Department of Environmental Conservation

D E C banner

For Release: Tuesday, May 10, 2022

DEC Commissioner Announces New Leadership Appointments

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos today announced three key appointments to leadership positions at the agency.

"I am excited about adding and promoting these incredibly qualified individuals to our teams in Albany and Western New York, bolstering and sustaining our mission to conserve, improve, and protect the State's natural resources," Commissioner Seggos said. "We're at a critical juncture when it comes to climate change and with Governor Kathy Hochul's leadership and a strong team at DEC, we are working together to rise to the challenge."

Michele M. Stefanucci has been appointed Chief Administrative Law Judge for the Office of Hearings and Mediation Services. In this role, Stefanucci will be responsible for the administration and oversight of hearings related to DEC's permitting and enforcement activities. She also makes history as the office's first woman Chief Administrative Law Judge. Stefanucci has more than 20 years' experience working in environmental law and was appointed as an Administrative Law Judge at DEC in 2019. She also served for several years in DEC's Office of General Counsel as a Senior Attorney for the bureaus of Energy and Water Resources.

Julie M. Barrett O'Neill has been named Regional Director for DEC's Region 9, which includes Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie, Niagara, and Wyoming counties. O'Neill most recently served as Executive Director for Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) and oversaw the strategic planning, geographic program and staff expansion, and funding diversification, including a new community-based planning program for the Buffalo East Side neighborhood revitalization. Under her leadership, LISC received the Buffalo First IDEA award for leadership in diversity, equity, and inclusion. Prior experiences in the public and private sectors included Green Program Director and General Counsel for the Buffalo Sewer Authority and Executive Director at Buffalo Niagara Waterkeeper.

Chad R. Staniszewski has been named Assistant Regional Director for DEC's Region 9. Staniszewski has more than two decades of experience with DEC, most recently serving as Acting Regional Director and Regional Engineer to manage environmental quality programs and staff. His tasks included developing work plans and overseeing the implementation of emergency management protocols and fostering the ongoing success of DEC's remediation programs to spur economic development and address contamination.

  • Contact for this Page
  • Press Office - Lori Severino
    625 Broadway
    Albany, NY 12233-1016
    email us
  • This Page Covers
  • Page applies to all NYS regions