Rural-Urban Connections Strategy Manager Appointed as California’s Director of Conservation

David Shabazian has been appointed as California's Director of Conservation.

October 31, 2019: California Governor Newsom appointed David Shabazian as the new director of the Department of Conservation on October 12. 

Shabazian has been program manager of the Rural-Urban Connections Strategy (RUCS) program since it was founded at SACOG in 2007. He worked with SACOG to develop the data, analysis and policy recommendations that made the RUCS program nationally renowned for elevating the importance of rural economy in regional planning. 

Under his leadership, RUCS did the data analysis that underpinned Sacramento’s Fork-to-Farm movement and has led efforts to wring more value from the region’s agricultural products by keeping processing local.  

Shabazian told SACOG staff that “this opportunity for me to oversee the Department of Conservation is ultimately a SACOG achievement and testament to the good work we have all contributed to making this region a better place.” 

Shabazian has also served as SACOG’s project manager of water resources and floodplain program management since 2004. He was deputy project manager for blueprint land use – transportation study at the Sacramento Area Council of Governments from 2000 to 2004, a post-graduate researcher at the University of California, Davis from 1996 to 2000 and a planner for the City of Davis from 1994 to 1996. He is chair of the Center for Land-Based Learning Board of Directors and a member of the Sacramento Food Bank and Family Services Board. Shabazian earned a Master of Science degree in transportation technology and policy from the University of California, Davis. 

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