Southwest Region
Conserving the Nature of America

About the Deputy Regional Director


Joy Nicholopoulos is the Deputy Regional Director for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Southwest Region. As Deputy Regional Director, Joy's primary duties will be helping all of the Service's programs accomplish our Region's priorities. Joy's focus will be on the dedicated team of employees who make up the Southwest Region. Joy is very interested in recruitment and retention of Service employees and will stay actively involved in the many programs and processes that complete our Regional goals in those areas.

Joy started her career with the Service as a Co-op Student (now called the Student Career Experience Program (SCEP)) in the Southwest Regional Office in 1992 working on the Mexican Wolf Recovery Program. During that time, she was involved in the Regional Listing and Consultation Programs and completed developmental assignments in the Washington Office in the Listing Program. After completing her doctorate degree at New Mexico State University in 1996, Joy transferred to the Washington Office and later served as Branch Chief for the Listing and Candidate Conservation Branch. She next served as the Project Leader for the New Mexico Field Office and was later named the New Mexico State Administrator. In 2005, Joy transferred to Texas to become the Texas State Administrator and in late 2008, Joy was honored to be selected for the Department of the Interior's Senior Executive Service Candidate Development Program. She graduated from that Program in June 2010. Prior to joining the Service, Joy held a variety of jobs, including positions with Texas A&M University, the University of Texas at El Paso, Fort Bliss Military Reservation, and Trident Seafoods Alaska Fleet. Joy earned a PhD. in biology and completed her dissertation on bald eagles in New Mexico. She also holds a MS in biology (completing her thesis on shorebird ecology) and has a BS in biology. She has been published in a variety of scientific and other publications and is active in a number of professional organizations. Joy grew up in El Paso, Texas, where most of her family still resides and she can be found hiking and biking the great outdoors of New Mexico, looking for fossils, kayaking, and birdwatching in all of her old haunts.


Joy Nicholopoulos, DRD

Joy Nicholopoulos , Southwest Deputy Regional Director. Photo: USFWS. Kim Jew Studios

Last updated: April 15, 2015