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Katrina Kessler, Commissioner

Katrina Kessler

Katrina Kessler was appointed commissioner of the MPCA effective November 1, 2021. Prior to her appointment, she served as assistant commissioner for water policy and agriculture, after returning to the agency from her role as director of the Surface Water and Sewers Division at the City of Minneapolis. In that position, Katrina directed management of Minneapolis’ 150-year-old sewer infrastructure and helped advance the city’s climate and water quality goals. Previously, Katrina worked at the MPCA for 13 years as a permit engineer and served as effluent limits supervisor and manager of the water assessment section.

Katrina has a bachelor of arts in environmental science from American University and a master of science in environmental engineering from the University of Minnesota. Katrina enjoys swimming, biking, and running outside when it isn’t snowing and downhill and cross country skiing when it is. She also enjoys traveling to mountains and beaches with her husband and two sons.

Peter Tester, Deputy Commissioner

Peter Tester

Peter Tester joined the agency as deputy commissioner in 2019. He previously spent years focused on addressing environmental issues in Minnesota, first at the Minnesota Attorney General’s Office, then as a partner at the law firm Lindquist and Vennum. Most recently, he served as senior corporate counsel for Ecolab. Peter also served as temporary MPCA commissioner from June to November 2021.

Peter has a bachelor of arts in history from Boston College, a master of arts in government and foreign affairs from the University of Virginia, and he completed his law degree at Boston College Law School. He is an avid canoer, hiker, skater, hunter, and skier. Tester has also developed a passion for mountaineering, climbing Mt. Rainier (2014), Mt. Baker (2017), and Denali, the highest peak in North America (2018). Tester lives with his wife Maya and has two grown daughters.

Frank Kohlasch, Assistant Commissioner

Frank Kohlasch

Frank Kohlasch has served as assistant commissioner for air and climate policy since January 2023. He brings 26 years of state service and extensive leadership within MPCA’s air programs, most recently serving as the MPCA climate director since 2019. In this role, he helped implement Minnesota’s Climate Subcabinet and Advisory Council on Climate Change, coordinated agency climate policies, and led the development of Minnesota’s Climate Action Framework identifying mitigation and resilience policies and strategies centered around equity.

Frank joined the MPCA in 1996 as an environmental analyst and served as manager for the agency’s Air Assessment Section, where he led agency experts in collecting, analyzing, and using air quality and greenhouse gas information to guide state actions. He holds leadership positions on several state and national committees, including president of the National Association of Clean Air Agencies.

Kirk Koudelka, Assistant Commissioner

Kirk Koudelka

Kirk Koudelka was appointed assistant commissioner for land policy and strategic initiatives in May 2012. Prior to that, Kirk served as the legislative director at the MPCA. He led the agency’s legislative efforts for the 2011 through 2014 legislative sessions in both roles.

Before coming to the agency, Kirk spent 11 legislative sessions at the Minnesota House of Representatives in various capacities, including committee administrator of the House Environment and Natural Resources Policy Committee. His role included administering the Solid Waste, Recycling and Resources Conservation Working Group focusing on state-level changes, but also internal changes at the Legislature. Kirk has a bachelor of arts in political science and history from Hamline University.

Dana Vanderbosch, Assistant Commissioner

Dana Vanderbosch

Dana Vanderbosch was appointed assistant commissioner for water policy and agriculture in 2022. She brings to the role 27 years of state service and extensive leadership experience within MPCA’s water programs. This includes oversight of monitoring and assessment activities, implementation of the state’s Clean Water Act-delegated permit programs, and coordination with state and local partners to develop and implement the Clean Water Fund watershed management framework.

Dana previously served as director of the MPCA’s Municipal Division, where she helped develop legislative strategies to address aging infrastructure, the impacts of climate change, and PFAS challenges. She also served three years as a manager of Parks and Trails Division in the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, where she was responsible for prioritizing infrastructure rehabilitation.

Tom Johnson, Government Relations Director

Tom Johnson

Tom Johnson joined the MPCA in 2022 as government relations director. He represents and advocates for the agency at the Legislature and with federal and local government partners. Prior to joining the agency, Tom spent nearly a decade in the nonprofit sector, most recently managing the toxics program at Clean Water Action and coordinating legislative work of the Health Legacy Coalition. He has worked closely with the Legislature, state agencies, corporations, and other stakeholders to advance policies that protect human health and the environment.

Tom has a bachelors degree in philosophy and political science from Gustavus Adolphus College.

Director of Tribal Affairs & Diverse Communities

This position is currently vacant. If you need immediate assistance on an issue related to tribal affairs or diverse communities, please contact Donya Dawson: or 651-757-2023.