Commission selects Unsworth as new director of WDFW
The Director’s Office provides strategic direction and operational oversight for Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) employees throughout the state, working to turn policies adopted by the state Legislature and the Fish and Wildlife Commission into action.
Phil Anderson began his employment with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (Department) in 1994, serving as a Special Assistant to the Director overseeing intergovernmental issues associated with both fish and wildlife. As part of his responsibilities in this role, he led the Department’s team in implementing Judge Rafeedie’s decision that affirmed the treaty Indian tribes’ right to harvest up to 50% of shellfish and marine fish. That work included the development of over 30 state-tribal management plans.
In 1999, Mr. Anderson created and led a policy group that was responsible for representing the Director’s office in intergovernmental forums related to fish, wildlife, and environmental issues. This included providing the state’s representation on the North Pacific Fishery Management Council, the Pacific Fishery Management Council, state-tribal hunting issues, the Columbia River Compact, and the North of Falcon process.
In 2007, Mr. Anderson was appointed as one of two Deputy Directors. In this capacity, he supervised the Department’s Assistant Directors for the Fish, Wildlife, Habitat, and Enforcement Programs and continued his lead role relative to resource policy issues and intergovernmental policy.
In December 2008, Mr. Anderson was named as Interim Director of the Department. He was selected as the permanent Director by the Fish and Wildlife Commission in September 2009.
Prior to coming to the Department, Mr. Anderson owned and operated a charter fishing boat out of Westport and Neah Bay. He was heavily involved in a variety of fishery management entities including the Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission, co-management activities including the North of Falcon process, the negotiations leading up to the U.S.-Canada Salmon Interception Treaty, and was appointed and served as a council member of the Pacific Fishery Management Council from 1987-1994.
Director Anderson and his wife, Chris, live in Westport and have two sons. Mr. Anderson is an avid hunter, fisher, bird watcher.