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600 Capitol Way North, Olympia, WA 98501-1091

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February 26, 2018
Contact: Commission Office, (360) 902-2267

Recruitment underway for new WDFW director

OLYMPIA – The search is officially underway for a new director to lead the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW).

The Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission, a citizen panel appointed by the governor to set policy for WDFW, will choose the agency's new director later this summer.

A job announcement and application instructions are posted on WDFW's website at The position is open until filled. To be considered for the first round of interviews, applicants must submit an application by 5 p.m. Friday, March 30, 2018, to The new director is expected to begin work in August.

Dr. Brad Smith, chair of the commission, said the public can recommend candidates and provide input on the qualities the new director should have to be successful. Comments and recommendations can be submitted at

Commissioners determined the search process and developed the job description during public discussions in January and February.

"The director of WDFW is certainly a challenging job," Smith said. "Successfully carrying out a dual mission of preserving, protecting and perpetuating fish and wildlife while at the same time providing sustainable recreational and commercial opportunities is no easy task – especially in a diverse and unique state such as Washington."

Former WDFW Director Dr. Jim Unsworth resigned in January after heading the department for three years. The commission appointed the department's deputy director, Joe Stohr, as acting director.

The WDFW director oversees a 1,800-person staff and a biennial operating budget of $437 million. The position pays up to $170,352 annually.