August 15, 2022
After 18 years as the President of the Wildlife Management Institute, Steve Williams is announcing that he has decided to retire from the organization on March 31, 2023. The WMI Board of Directors will be searching for a new WMI President starting this fall with an anticipated selection being made on or before February 2023. A position announcement will be circulated prior to the AFWA meeting in September. Following is a statement from Williams about his retirement.
During my 37-year professional career, I have been fortunate to have served as the Deer Project Leader and Assistant Director for Wildlife for the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife, Deputy Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Game Commission, Secretary of the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks, and Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. I started as WMI President in 2005. WMI has undergone a major transformation since that time. Prior to 2007, WMI was funded primarily through contributions from the firearms and ammunition industry. Today, WMI is an entrepreneurial conservation organization primarily funded through competitive grants, agency program reviews, contracts, and cooperative agreements. WMI also serves as a professional employer organization to assist agencies in administering new employees to accomplish conservation work.
Through the years, WMI staff have been selected to achieve our mission and to deliver our strategic program areas: science and management, conservation policy development, information and education, project administration, and service to the profession and partners. I could not be more proud of the staff we have assembled. They all possess impressive educational backgrounds and years of professional experience. They all are strongly committed to advancing the wildlife profession. We strive to be facilitators, catalysts, and thought leaders to prepare our profession for conservation challenges in the coming years.
Although a retirement decision is difficult, I will leave with the knowledge that WMI is in a strong position to continue to enhance North American fish and wildlife conservation. I want to express my sincere appreciation to past and present WMI staff, our many federal and state partners, and our conservation organization partners who have labored side by side with us to advance conservation. Before I retire, I look forward to seeing my conservation family and friends at the AFWA Meeting in Fort Worth and the North American Conference in St. Louis.