Wildlife Program Director - EMS Band 4 - Exempt - *06764-24

Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife

Olympia, Washington

Job Type Permanent
Salary Details $138,384.00 Annually
Deadline Jul 21, 2024


Olympia, Washington - Thurston County 

This recruitment will be posted until July 21, 2024 - application review is ongoing, submit your application materials as soon as possible, with the first review on June 20, 2024. This recruitment may be closed at any time.

The Wildlife Program within the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) is seeking a dynamic and visionary leader to fill the pivotal role of Wildlife Program Director.

As our Wildlife Program Director, you will be at the forefront of our mission to lead, manage, and direct all aspects of the Wildlife Program. 

Ensure short and long-term success of the Wildlife Program and Agency priorities concerning species management, habitat conservation, recreational opportunities, and lands management. 

This is a unique opportunity to make a lasting impact on the preservation of our natural heritage, while leading a team of dedicated professionals.

Bring your deep understanding of Natural Resources Management to the Wildlife Program,

Manage comprehensive statewide programs to preserve, protect, and perpetuate the state’s fish and wildlife resources and their habitats.

Guide, lead, and navigate all aspects of the Wildlife Program including,  

  • The conservation of 265 species of greatest conservation need.
  • Sustainably managing game species pursued by approximately 175,000 hunters.
  • Managing over 1,000,000 acres of land for wildlife habitat and outdoor recreation.
  • Maintaining approximately 450 boat access sites.
  • Mitigating wildlife conflict.
  • Providing conservation and recreation opportunities on private lands.

As part of the Executive Management Team,

You will provide policy-level management and direction of Washington State's fish and wildlife resources in a manner that is consistent with state and federal laws and the Governor's initiatives for Washington State.

You excel in fostering collaboration and cultivating a strong sense of teamwork, 

Establish and maintain cooperative working relationships with tribes, governmental officials, agencies, sports groups, non-governmental organizations, and other professional and community organizations.


Here is what you will be doing as our Wildlife Program Manager, 

  • Implements the agency strategic plan and develops Wildlife Program specific priorities to ensure long range strategy.
  • Ensures the integration of relevant science, commission and agency policy, economic and legal factors, and constituent values in making management decisions.
  • Establish effective working relations with local, state, federal, tribal, conservation groups, industry, and other constituents.
  • Represent the Department in forums with state and federal legislators, the Governor's Office, Indian Tribes, state and federal entities, special interest groups, advisory groups, and constituents.
  • Provide policy and direction for the statewide implementation of species and land management, protection and restoration of Species and Habitats of Greatest Conservation Need and recreational opportunities including hunting. 
  • Develop strong partnerships and collaborative approaches both internally and externally. 
  • Plan, organize, and direct the essential infrastructure for the Program's policy and procedures development, budget development and monitoring, contracts management, rules and legislation coordination, administrative/clerical support, personnel coordination, and overall guidance to Wildlife Program staff.
  • Be responsible for the recruitment, employment, and release of all personnel.
  • Lead an effective management team.
  • Provides employees with training and tools to be effective and efficient in their jobs. Recruits, builds, and enhances a diverse workforce to manage the individual programs for which the Wildlife Program is responsible.
  • Demonstrate WDFW values and hold others accountable for those values.
  • Demonstrate actions that result in DFW being more equitable, diverse, and inclusive.


  • Work Setting, including hazards:    
    • Working environment is a busy office setting, most tasks will involve working on a computer. 
  • Schedule:   
    • As an exempt employee, the incumbent is expected to be available to work as needed beyond normal (8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.) work hours, including evenings, weekends, and holidays.
  • Travel Requirements:    
    • Position requires some travel within the Olympia area and occasionally to off-site WDFW facilities in various cities across the state. 
    • Occasional out-of-state and overnight travel may be needed to attend or participate in various forums and functions.
  • Customer Relations:      
    • Requires frequent contact with stakeholders, WDFW employees and external contact with other agencies, members of the public, etc. 
    • Responsible for legislative, contentious issue resolution and leaders of major stakeholder interaction. 



Bachelor’s degree in ecology, natural resources, environmental science, biology, or other closely related field.

With all of the following: 

  • Five (5) years of progressive management experience in natural resources.
  • Two (2) years in a second-level management role, supervising managers who oversee their own teams.  (Second-level management experience can be gained concurrently with the experience listed above). 
  • One (1) year of experience with a state legislative process.
  • Experience managing a large and diverse budget.


  • Excellent leadership skills with broad experience in natural resource management.

Please Note: Closely related qualifying experience may be substituted for the required education on a year-by-year basis.


In addition to those required qualifications, our ideal applicant will also have some or all of the following: 

  • Graduate degree in ecology, natural resources, biology, environmental science, or closely related field.
  • Six (6) years of progressive management experience.
  • Experience with public administration coupled with legislative and/or executive staff experience.
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills with the demonstrated ability to forge consensus among diverse advocacy groups and facilitate agreement among numerous diverse stakeholders.
  • Demonstrated skill in performance-based management.
  • Demonstrated application of advanced principles of management including staff supervision and leadership, conflict resolution, personnel and merit system rules and regulations, collective bargaining agreements, cultural diversity, policy analysis development and implementation, and budget development and expenditures.

Supplemental Information:

Please note: Failure to follow the instructions below may lead to disqualification.

Experience and education selected, listed, and detailed in the Supplemental Questions must be verifiable in the application.

In order to successfully apply for this position, you MUST complete your profile at www.careers.wa.gov and attach the following to your profile before completing the online application:

  • A cover letter describing how you meet the qualifications of this position (Generic cover letter will not be accepted).
  • A current resume. 
  • Three professional references. 


All new employees must complete an Employment Eligibility Verification Form (I-9 Form) on their first day of work. If hired for this or any position at WDFW, you will be required to provide documentation proving you are eligible to work in the United States. For a list of acceptable documents, please use the following link:  https://www.uscis.gov/i-9-central/form-i-9-acceptable-documents


Learn about our agency and the perks of working for WDFW!

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife has some of the most talented people in the natural resource field.  We celebrate and value diversity, appreciating that a workforce composed of those from different backgrounds and experiences creates an inclusive environment, strengthens positive relationships with the local community, and brings new perspectives and approaches to fulfilling the agency’s mission. We value demonstrated skill in living WDFW values of Accountability, Service, Professionalism, Integrity, Respect, and Empathy (ASPIRE).

WDFW employees may be eligible for the following: Benefits

Medical/Dental/Vision for employee & dependent(s), Public Employees Retirement System (PERS), Vacation, Sick, and other Leave types. 

Eleven (11) Paid Holidays per year and one (1) personal holiday if the employee is scheduled to be, or has been, continuously employed by the State of Washington for at least four (4) months. 

Public Service Loan Forgiveness, Tuition Waiver, Long Term Disability & Life Insurance, Deferred Compensation Programs, Dependent Care Assistance Program (DCAP), Flexible Spending Arrangement (FSA), and an Employee Assistance Program.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Employer


To take advantage of veteran preference, please do the following:

  • Email a copy of your DD214 (Member 4 copy), NGB 22 or USDVA signed verification of service letter to kaila.daudt@dfw.wa.gov.
  • Subject line must include recruitment number, position, and Vet (for example: #10155 Biologist 1 – Veteran)
  • Include your name as it appears on your application in careers.wa.gov.


To take advantage of military spouse preference, please do the following:

  • Notify us of your military spouse status by email at kaila.daudt@dfw.wa.gov.  
  • Subject line must include recruitment number, position, and MS (for example: #10155 Biologist 1 – MS)
  • Include your name as it appears on your application in careers.wa.gov.

Note: Please blackout any PII (personally identifiable information) data such as social security numbers. 

As part of WDFW’s efforts to advance respectful and inclusive work environments, the Agency expects inclusivity as part of our professional interactions and communications.   Therefore, we want to ensure that all individuals feel welcome, are treated fairly and respectfully.  All staff are empowered to fully contribute to serving their work unit, Agency, and the citizens of Washington.

The Department of Fish and Wildlife is an equal opportunity employer. We strive to create a working environment that includes and respects cultural, racial, ethnic, sexual orientation and gender identity diversity. Women, racial and ethnic minorities, persons of disability, persons over 40 years of age, disabled and Vietnam era veterans and people of all sexual orientations and gender identities are encouraged to apply.  

Persons needing accommodation in the application process or this announcement in an alternative format please contact Jayme Chase by phone 360-902-2278 or email Jayme.Chase@dfw.wa.gov , or the Telecommunications Device for the Deaf (TDD) at 800-833-6388.

If you are having technical difficulties creating, accessing, or completing your application, please call NEOGOV toll-free at (855) 524-5627 or support@neogov.com.

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Category Admin & Leadership, Wildlife
Tags Outreach