Colleen Callahan

Illinois Department of Natural Resources

Colleen Callahan

Gov. JB Pritzker appointed Colleen Callahan to serve as director of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources on Feb. 19, 2019. Prior to her appointment, Director Callahan managed her own communications consulting firm after serving more than seven years as state director for USDA Rural Development in Illinois. During her tenure at USDA, she and her staff worked with local communities and businesses to generate a $1 billion increase in the Illinois rural development loan portfolio. Director Callahan also worked for 30 years in radio and television, serving as the agribusiness director for WMBD Radio and Television in Peoria. She was the first female president of the National Association of Farm Broadcasting and was the first woman inducted into the organization’s hall of fame. She grew up on a cattle and grain farm near Milford in Iroquois County and received her Bachelor of Science degree in agricultural communications from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.