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Martha Williams Becomes Fish and Wildlife Service Director

Martha Williams, after serving as principal deputy director since Jan. 20, 2021, was named director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Department of the Interior Secretary Deb Haaland swore in Williams Tuesday.

The service, under the U.S. Department of the Interior, has more than 8,4000 employees and oversees more than 560 national wildlife refuges, 70 national fish hatcheries and numerous regional and field offices across the country.

“Martha’s decades of experience in conservation, wildlife management, and natural resources stewardship have been a crucial asset as the Department of the Interior tackles the dual climate and biodiversity crises,” said Haaland in a statement. “Her strategic vision and collaborative approach will be key in her role as Director of the Fish and Wildlife Service and as the Department works to conserve, connect, and restore America’s lands, waters and wildlife for current and future generations.”

As director, Williams play a role in implementing the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law’s $1.4 billion investment in ecosystem restoration and resilience, which will help restore America’s lands, and fund stewardship contracts, ecosystem restoration projects, invasive species detection and prevention, and native vegetation restoration efforts, according to the department.

“It’s an incredible honor to serve the American people as Director of the Fish and Wildlife Service at a time when the challenges and opportunities to maintain healthy ecosystems and wildlife have never been greater,” Williams said in a statement. “I look forward to continuing my life’s work of collaborating with local communities and stakeholders to tackle conservation efforts and the tough wildlife and resource management issues facing the country.”

Before joining the Biden-Harris administration, Williams served as director of the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks from 2017 to 2020.

Williams was an assistant professor of Law at the Blewett School of Law at the University of Montana in Missoula, Montana, where she co-directed the university’s Land Use and Natural Resources Clinic. Williams served as deputy solicitor for Parks and Wildlife between 2011 and 2013, providing counsel to the National Park Service and the Fish and Wildlife Service.

From Maryland, she earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Virginia and a juris doctor degree from the University of Montana School of Law.

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