Commissioner of Public Lands Peter Goldmark
Peter Goldmark is the 13th Commissioner of Public Lands since statehood in 1889, and the fifth Commissioner to manage the Department of Natural Resources, an agency which assumed its current form in 1957. He was elected by the people of Washington in 2008 and began his first four-year term in January 2009. In November 2012, voters reelected him to serve a second four-year term as Commissioner of Public Lands.
A scientist by training and a Washington native, Goldmark was raised on his family’s ranch in the Okanogan Highlands. After receiving his Ph.D. in molecular biology from the University of California at Berkeley in 1971, he traveled to Harvard University for a postdoctoral fellowship in neurobiology. In 1972 he returned to Washington to raise his family, run his own business and make a life as a rancher.
Goldmark’s lifelong involvement with agriculture and education has led to public service at the local, county and statewide level. In addition to his tenure as Commissioner of Public Lands, Goldmark served as Washington State Director of Agriculture in 1993, as chairman of the Governor's Council on Agriculture and the Environment from 1994-1996, on the Governor's Council for a Sustainable Washington in 2002-2003, and on the Governor's Council on Biodiversity in 2004-2005. Goldmark served as a member of the Okanogan School Board from 1998 to 2005. He was also a member of the Washington State University Board of Regents from 1996 to 2005, with service as president of the board from 1999 to 2000.
One of the state’s earliest organic farmers and ranchers, Goldmark maintains a small scientific research facility at the family ranch and has published scientific articles in national and international journals. He has bred and released two new wheat varieties for Washington farmers.
A volunteer wildland firefighter, Goldmark fought fires as a member of Okanogan County’s Fire District No. 8 for more than 30 years.