Department of the Interior

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Office of the Secretary CONTACT: Dan DuBray or Hugh Vickery
March 11, 2005 (202) 208-6416
Secretary Gale Norton Praises Accomplishments
of U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director Steve Williams

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Secretary of the Interior Gale A. Norton today announced the resignation of Steve Williams as Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Williams will become President of the Wildlife Management Institute, a nonprofit organization dedicated to scientific wildlife management, effective March 20, 2005.

In a letter to Williams, Secretary Norton thanked him for his service and noted his many accomplishments in conserving wildlife habitats, expanding opportunities for fishing and hunting, and advancing cooperative conservation partnerships. "As I have traveled the country, I heard over and over how you were rekindling the spirit of cooperation among state and federal agencies and private partners," she said. "Countless refuge managers, biologists, sportsmen, and landowners complimented your leadership, management style, effectiveness and great humor."

"The past three years, serving as Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, have been the most rewarding of my 20 years in fish and wildlife conservation," said Steve Williams. "I leave the Department of Interior with hesitation about leaving behind the many dedicated and skilled Fish and Wildlife Service employees and the Administration, but I believe it is in my best interest both personally and professionally."

Richard E. McCabe, Executive Vice President of the Wildlife Management Institute said his organization would benefit substantially from Williams' expertise. "The Wildlife Management Institute is delighted that Steve Williams will take the helm of this organization and bring to it his considerable administrative experience and talent, as well as his proven dedication to the conservation and professional management of wildlife resources," McCabe said.

Williams was confirmed in his current position in January 2002. He previously served as Secretary of the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks and held positions in the Pennsylvania Game Commission and Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife. Williams earned a doctorate in forest resources at Pennsylvania State University, University Park; a master of science degree from the University of North Dakota at Grand Forks; and a bachelor's degree in environmental resource management, also from Pennsylvania State University. He is a member of the International Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies, the Wildlife Society, and other professional and conservation organizations.

The Department will name an acting Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service when Williams departs at the end of next week. A permanent replacement must be nominated by President Bush and confirmed by the U.S. Senate.




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