IDEM Senior Staff Bios

Brian Rockensuess

Title: Chief of Staff

Degree(s): Master of Public and Environmental Affairs from Indiana University; Bachelor’s degree from Ball State University.

Special license(s): N/A

Experience: At IDEM since 2014; over the past year, served as director of Government Affairs; prior to that served as Business, Agricultural and Legislative liaison; also served as a floor supervisor and legislative assistant at the Indiana State Senate.

Nancy King

Title: Assistant Commissioner, General Counsel, Office of Legal Counsel and Criminal Investigations

Degree(s): Bachelor of Arts, Indiana University, Bloomington; Doctor of Jurisprudence, Indiana University, Bloomington.

Special license(s): N/A

Experience: Over 24 years with IDEM’s Office of Legal Counsel, working in all media. Nancy drafted originating legislation for the Title V air permitting program and accompanying rules and has worked primarily in the areas of rules and legislation drafting and review for all programs, as well as program counsel. Nancy has been the section chief over the rules section within OLC and subsequently, the branch chief over the rules development branch. Nancy has worked extensively with IDEM’s rulemaking boards. Additionally, Nancy has been counsel for the Natural Resource Damages Co-Trustee within IDEM and worked to secure the NRDA settlement which resulted in the dredging and cleanup of the Grand Calumet River in Northwest Indiana.

Valerie Tachtiris

Title: Deputy Assistant Commissioner, Office of Legal Counsel and Criminal Investigations

Degree(s): Bachelor of Science in Environmental Administration from the University of Evansville; Doctor of Jurisprudence from the Indiana University Maurer School of Law.

Special license(s): N/A

Experience: Over a decade of experience in environmental law and litigation, most notably having spent almost ten years at the Indiana Attorney General’s Office where she defended and prosecuted environmental matters for state agencies including the Indiana Department of Environmental Management, Department of Health, and Department of Natural Resources in matters before administrative, state, and federal courts.

Keith Baugues

Title: Assistant Commissioner, Office of Air Quality

Degree(s): Bachelor of Science in Biological Engineering from Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology.

Special license(s): Professional Engineer

Experience: 37 years of experience working on air pollution issues; six years with the Indiana Air Pollution Control Division; nine years with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 1 year with Region VI, eight years with the Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards; twenty two years as environmental consultant in Illinois, Texas, Colorado and Indiana.

Peggy Dorsey

Title: Assistant Commissioner, Office of Land Quality

Degree(s): Bachelor of Science in Wildlife Science from Purdue University.

Special license(s): N/A

Experience: Deputy Assistant Commissioner of the Office of Land Quality for over 10 years; over 30 years of experience in the environmental arena in both the public sector at the city, county and state levels as well as the private sector at two environmental consulting firms.

Amy E. Smith

Title: Deputy Assistant Commissioner, Office of Land Quality

Degree(s): Bachelor of Arts-Environmental Science from the University of Florida; Master of Public Affairs-Environmental Policy and Natural Resource Management from Indiana University-Bloomington; Doctor of Jurisprudence from Indiana University-Robert H. McKinney School of Law.

Special license(s): N/A

Experience: Over a decade of experience in various roles at IDEM as a project manager in the Office of Land Quality, rule writer in the Office of Air Quality and attorney in the Office of Legal Counsel.

Martha Clark Mettler

Title: Assistant Commissioner, Office of Water Quality

Degree(s): Master of Planning in Environmental Planning from Indiana University; Bachelor of Science in Public Affairs from Indiana University.

Special license(s): N/A

Experience: At IDEM since 1995; chief of the Watershed Planning Branch; chief of the Ground Water Section.

Paul Higginbotham

Title: Deputy Assistant Commissioner, Office of Water Quality

Degree(s): Bachelor of Arts in Biology, with a minor in Criminal Justice, from Anderson University.

Special license(s): N/A

Experience: With IDEM since 1992; Chief of the Permits Branch in the Office of Water Quality for nine years; also served as the Solid Waste–Underground Storage Tank Enforcement Section Chief.

Niles Parker

Title: Deputy Assistant Commissioner, Office of Program Support

Degree(s): Master of Arts in Natural Resources from Ball State University in Muncie, IN; Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and Marketing from Drexel University in Philadelphia, PA.

Special license(s): N/A

Experience: 28 years of energy and environmental experience in working with the IN Department of Natural Resources in mine reclamation and grants management, the IN Department of Commerce in energy and community development and the IN Department of Environmental Management in planning and assessment, public records and compliance support.