Office of the director

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.

About the director

WDFW Director Kelly Susewind seated at his desk
WDFW Director Kelly Susewind.

Kelly Susewind joined the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) as director in August 2018, after spending 28 years at the Washington Department of Ecology.

A lifelong outdoorsman and longtime resident of Washington, Susewind oversees 1,800 employees throughout the state, tasked with fulfilling WDFW's mission of conserving fish and wildlife and providing sustainable recreational and commercial opportunities.

Susewind grew up in Aberdeen, and graduated from Grays Harbor College with an associate's degree in engineering before receiving his bachelor's degree in geological engineering from Washington State University. After spending several years working in the private sector in Alaska and Seattle, Susewind joined the Department of Ecology in 1990.

Susewind served in numerous roles during his time at Ecology, including as manager of the Water Quality Program and, most recently, as director of administrative services and environmental policy.

His Leadership Team 

Learn more about Director Susewind's leadership team

Director's Statements, Correspondence, and Events

Legislative and Governance

Visit our legislative priorities webpage for more information.

Emergency requests

Emergency measures request for invasive green crab response - Dec. 14, 2021
Governor's Emergency Proclamation 22-02 - Green Crab Infestation - Jan. 19, 2022
In 2021, WDFW, tribal co-managers, and partners identified an exponential increase of invasive European green crabs (EGC) within the Lummi Nation’s Sea Pond and outer coast areas, including Makah Bay, Grays Harbor, and Willapa Bay. This poses an imminent threat to Washington’s economic, environmental, and cultural resources. The $2.3 million appropriated by the State Legislature for EGC management in the 2021-23 biennium is not sufficient to control these exploding populations.

On Dec. 14, 2021, Director Susewind submitted an emergency measures request for invasive green crab response to Governor Jay Inslee. While emergency funding was not immediately available, on Jan. 19, 2022, Gov. Inslee issued an emergency order to address the exponential increase in the European green crab population within the Lummi Nation’s Sea Pond and outer coast areas. The proclamation directs WDFW to begin implementation of emergency measures and urges the Legislature to provide additional emergency funding as requested by the WDFW as soon as possible.

Working with the Governor’s office, the Office of Financial Management, tribal co-managers including the Lummi Nation, Makah Tribe, and others, and Washington Sea Grant, WDFW requested $8,568,00 million from the State Legislature during the 2022 supplemental session to control increasing European green crab populations. The Legislature fully-funded this request in the 2022 Supplemental Budget, which was signed by Governor Inslee on March 31, 2022.

For more information and regular updates on European green crab emergency management, please visit this webpage.

Southern Resident Killer Whale Recovery

In this video below, Director Susewind highlights some of WDFW's progress to help protect endangered Southern Resident killer whales this Orca Action Month. Find more information and opportunities to get involved on our killer whale web page