Fish and Wildlife Service Announces Paul Souza
“Having Paul accept this tremendous job is a double pleasure for me. I am extremely pleased to promote a seasoned professional who works extremely well our partners,” said Sam D. Hamilton said Sam D. Hamilton, Southeast Regional Director for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. “I also know we have selected a capable, effective leader to manage one of the Service’s largest offices with its share of challenges and opportunities, from Everglades restoration to the recovery of the Florida Panther.”
Souza has over eight years of experience with the Service, and has served in South Florida since March of 2005, first as assistant field supervisor and most recently as deputy field supervisor.
“I am honored to have the opportunity to help guide the dedicated Fish and Wildlife Service professionals in South Florida, who pour their tireless energy and commitment to the mission of our agency into partnerships for conservation every day," Souza said. "Conserving America's Everglades is not only a high priority in Florida, but it is a national goal we will achieve in partnership with many different colleagues inside and outside government.”
“Working together, we will continue to make a difference and successfully address the most complex and important conservation issues in this biologically rich region," Souza said.
Before coming to South Florida, Paul worked in the Service’s Branch of Advanced Planning and Habitat Conservation in Washington D.C. He served there as the national lead for the Fish and Wildlife Coordination Act and helped manage the branch’s budget and performance, which includes about $30 million and 300 full-time employees overseeing activities related to the National Environmental Policy Act, Federal Power Act, Clean Water Act, and other environmental statutes. He also represented the Service on the Trilateral Committee -- composed of natural resource agencies in Canada, Mexico and the United States -- and focused on threatened and endangered species conservation. While in Washington, Paul also served as a representative for the Assistant Director for Fisheries and Habitat Conservation in the Director's Science Excellence Program.
Paul joined the Fish and Wildlife Service in 1997 as a Presidential Management Fellow, served as national coordinator for the Coastal Barrier Resources Act, coordinated the Service's contribution to the Coral Reef Initiative, and helped other efforts in the Branch of Habitat Restoration and Fisheries and Habitat Conservation. In addition to his Federal service, Paul helped lead the National Governors Association's year long "Where do we grow from here?" initiative to integrate state-level economic and natural resource policies.
Souza previously worked for the National Audubon Society and American Rivers on a variety of issues, including Everglades restoration, smart growth, and hydropower relicensing. He has a Bachelor's degree in Environmental Studies with an emphasis in Ecology from University of California at Santa Barbara, and a Master's degree in Environmental Planning and Natural Resources Management from Florida State University.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is the principal federal agency responsible for conserving, protecting and enhancing fish, wildlife and plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. The Service manages the 95-million-acre National Wildlife Refuge System, which encompasses 545 national wildlife refuges, thousands of small wetlands and other special management areas. It also operates 69 national fish hatcheries, 64 fishery resources offices and 81 ecological services field stations. The agency enforces federal wildlife laws, administers the Endangered Species Act, manages migratory bird populations, restores nationally significant fisheries, conserves and restores wildlife habitat such as wetlands, and helps foreign and Native American tribal governments with their conservation efforts. It also oversees the Federal Assistance program, which distributes hundreds of millions of dollars in excise taxes on fishing and hunting equipment to state fish and wildlife agencies.
NOTE: You can view our releases or subscribe to receive them -- via e-mail -- at the Service's Southeast Regional home page at http://www.fws.gov/southeast/news. Our national home page is at: http://news.fws.gov/newsreleases/. Atlanta, GA 30345, Phone: 404/679-7289 Fax: 404/679-7286