David Leff

Deputy Commissioner of the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP)

David Leff has been Deputy Commissioner with the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection since February 1995.  He is principally responsible for Department conservation programs, including parks, forests, fisheries, and wildlife.  Among his primary concerns are preservation of open space and protection of sensitive and unusual natural communities.  In 1997 he chaired the Governor’s Blue Ribbon Task Force on Open Space.  Since that time over 50,000 acres of land have been protected.  He is currently Chairman of the Connecticut Invasive Plants Council.

Prior to joining the DEP, he spent over 16 years with the Connecticut General Assembly as a researcher, legal and policy advisor to the legislature’s Environment Committee.  Mr. Leff has been active in environmental affairs for many years and has served on the Board of Directors of the Appalachian Mountain Club.  He is a long time avid hiker, canoeist, and fisherman, who also enjoys hunting, biking, and cross- country skiing.

Mr. Leff lives in Collinsville where he is Chairman of the Collinsville Historic District Commission and has served as a member of the board of directors of the Canton Historical Museum.  He is a volunteer firefighter acting as safety officer in his hometown fire department.  Mr. Leff is a maple sugar maker and has been on the board of directors of the Maple Syrup Producers Association of Connecticut.  He also engages in freelance writing, and is a member of the Hartford Courant’s “Place” Board of Contributors.  His essays and fiction have appeared in newspapers and magazines.  His non-fiction book, The Last Undiscovered Place, was published by the University of Virginia Press in 2004.  It is a first person narrative about the way in which people relate to their landscape and communities.  Mr. Leff is a 1978 graduate of the University of Connecticut School of Law.  He was admitted to the practice of law that same year.  He is the father of the two most beautiful and intelligent children on the planet.