SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WMBD)– The director of the Illinois Dept of Natural Resources (IDNR) will step down from her post on Jan. 16 after nearly four years leading the state agency.

According to an IDNR press release, Colleen Callahan has served as director since March 2019 when she was appointed by Gov. JB Pritzker.

During that time, she guided the agency through the global pandemic. This resulted in millions of visitors enjoying Illinois’ nearly 400 state parks, natural areas, and historic sites to nurture their physical and mental health while outdoors.

Director Callahan also oversaw efforts to focus IDNR on reducing the state’s carbon footprint and mitigating the effects of climate change. A climate action plan is currently under review and set to be released in early 2023.

The IDNR was able to receive its largest state budget in 20 years to address improvements to state sites and offer the largest round of Open Space Land Acquisition and Development (OSLAD) grants in the history of the agency.

Prior to her appointment as IDNR director, Callahan served as state director of Illinois’ Rural Development for the U.S. Department of Agriculture. She broke glass ceilings in broadcast media as the first female agribusiness director for WMBD in Peoria.

Her 30-year career at WMBD led her to the National Association of Farm Broadcasters, where she served as the first female president of the organization and was the first woman inducted into their Hall of Fame.