Department of Ecology News Release - March 7, 2024

Ecology announces new southwest region director

Bobbak Talebi will lead the agency’s efforts to partner with southwest Washington communities to protect the region’s land, air and water

Bobbak Talebi


On Thursday, Washington Department of Ecology Director Laura Watson named Bobbak Talebi as the director of the agency’s Southwest Region Office.

Talebi brings more than two decades of experience in land use, environmental planning, natural resources management, environmental policy and conservation. He most recently managed staff in Ecology’s shorelands and coastal section, and previously served as an Ecology coastal planner, focusing on improving resilience from sea level rise and erosion in Washington’s coastal communities. Talebi earned a bachelor’s degree in environmental studies and urban planning, and a master’s degree in marine and environmental affairs from the University of Washington.

“Ecology’s Southwest Region includes the majority of our state’s coastline, many of our major river systems, and a diverse array of communities, industries and ecosystems,” Watson said. “Bobbak brings a wealth of technical knowledge and a network of existing relationships to this position. He understands the environmental challenges the region faces, and the role that a healthy environment plays in building a thriving economy and growing communities.”

Talebi said he’s honored to serve in this position and strengthen Ecology’s relationships with community partners, Tribes, and other agencies and jurisdictions. 

“I am proud to be a part of Ecology, where we value investing in diverse partnerships to magnify our ability to protect, preserve, and enhance our state’s environment,” Talebi said. “During my time with Ecology, I’ve had the privilege of being surrounded by teams who care about each other and our mission. Some of my most rewarding professional experiences come from supporting community efforts to improve our resiliency to changing climate conditions – especially in southwest Washington.”

Ecology’s Southwest Region includes Clallam, Clark, Cowlitz, Grays Harbor, Jefferson, Mason, Lewis, Pacific, Pierce, Skamania, Thurston, and Wahkiakum counties. The office focuses on a variety of issues that include protecting air and water quality, safely managing and disposing of hazardous wastes, cleaning up contaminated sites, protecting shorelines and wetlands, and monitoring rising sea levels. The agency has a special focus on identifying and addressing the disproportionate impacts that pollution and contamination have on vulnerable communities and residents in the region. 

Contact information

Brittny Goodsell
Southwest Region communications
Twitter: ecySW