Newsroom Midwest Region

New leadership announced for conservation in the midwest

Regional Director Charlie Wooley on a dock at Green Bay National Wildlife Refuge
Regional Director Charlie Wooley at Green Bay National Wildlife Refuge. Photo by USFWS.

We at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service are pleased to announce that Charlie Wooley is the new Regional Director for the Service in the Department of the Interior’s Unified Region 3 – Great Lakes, based in Bloomington, Minnesota. Wooley has more than 40 years of experience working with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and has been Acting Regional Director for more than a year.

"Charlie has been leading conservation efforts on a national scale for decades. I’m pleased to have his leadership directing the work of our dedicated employees as they work with partners across America’s heartland,” said Principal Deputy Director Margaret Everson.

Wooley’s career with the Service started in 1978 and includes work as a fishery biologist in Alaska, Florida and Maryland. He has also served as a program analyst in Washington, D.C., where he worked with the President’s Domestic Policy Council Interagency Task Force on Wetlands and the House of Representatives’ Merchant Marine Fisheries Committee, and participated in the Interior Department Leadership Training Program.

“There is no higher calling than to serve the American people. I’m honored to lead a team of hardworking, talented professionals and to continue our tradition of working closely with our conservation partners,” said Regional Director Charlie Wooley. “We support a host of nationally important fish and wildlife resources and habitats here in the midwest, from Great Lakes fisheries to the millions of waterfowl that travel up and down the Mississippi River,” continued Wooley.

In December 2018, Wooley was appointed by President Donald J. Trump to serve a six-year term as the Federal Commissioner representing the United States on the Great Lakes Fishery Commission.

Wooley served as Deputy Regional Director from 2004 to 2018 when he assisted the Regional Director to formulate, develop and lead programs, policy and procedures to carry out the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service mission in the eight state Midwest Region.

Prior to serving as Deputy, Wooley was the Assistant Regional Director for Ecological Services in the Midwest Region and oversaw endangered species, contaminants and wetland protection programs, as well as various Great Lakes and Mississippi River activities.

Earlier in Wooley’s career, he was the Field Supervisor at the East Lansing Field Office in Michigan for eight years. He has continuously served as the Department of the Interior’s Trustee to the Great Lakes Fishery Trust since 1997. Wooley also serves as the Service’s senior executive representative on the Asian Carp Regional Coordinating Committee, the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative and the Executive Council for U.S. vs. Michigan (Treaty of 1836).

Wooley was honored by Department of the Interior Secretary Gale Norton in July 2001 with the Department’s Meritorious Service Award, and was again honored in 2012 by Secretary Ken Salazar with the Department’s Distinguished Service Award, the Department’s highest award.

Wooley was chosen in July 2014 by his peers for the prestigious Ira Gabrielson Award, recognizing his leadership qualities. Additionally, in May 2017, Wooley was awarded the Conservation Leader Award from the University of Wisconsin - Stevens Point College of Natural Resources. Wooley is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin - Stevens Point.

Charlie Wooley with partners on the Fox River
Regional Director Charlie Wooley with Ron Tehassi Hill of the Oneida Tribe and Beth Olson of the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and Gary Besaw of the Menominee Tribe on the Fox River in Wisconsin. Photo by USFWS.