News Release

October 24, 2012

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Pacific Regional Director Accepts "Making A Difference" Award

Media Contacts:
Joan Jewett (503) 231-6211

In a ceremony yesterday in Portland, Oregon, City Commissioner Amanda Fritz presented the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service with the city’s 2012 “Making a Difference” award.  Pacific Regional Director Robyn Thorson accepted the honor on behalf of the Service for achievements made in the support of efforts to be more inclusive for people with disabilities.
This award recognizes the Fish and Wildlife Service’s many achievements in creating a more inclusive and diverse workforce.  In the past several years, Regional Director Thorson formed the Diversity and Inclusion Workgroup to bring a variety of employees together to develop goals to provide support, direction and recommendations on matters of diversity and inclusion. 
The City of Portland, in conjunction with partners from the Office of Neighborhood Involvement and the Connecting Communities Coalition, has presented this award for the past four years.  This is the first time it has been presented to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Through Thorson’s leadership and direction, the Pacific Region’s Diversity and Inclusion Workgroup has successfully completed many projects that support this initiative.  These include: 

“I am proud of the work the Service has accomplished in the past year.  Our dedicated staff displays the enthusiasm and passion that enable us to succeed in partnering with groups like the Madigan Army Hospital’s Operation Warfighter Program,” said Robyn Thorson, Pacific Regional Director.  “In the past year, we’ve sponsored five wounded warriors and assisted them by providing part-time work opportunities while these heroic veterans are convalescing.” 
Under Thorson’s direction, the Regional Office has hosted a myriad of special observance events, providing the opportunity for not only U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service employees, but also our federal partners, to experience the rich diversity of our Nation.  Each month events and workgroups are held that help educate and empower our employees to better understand and appreciate the richness of our varied culture.  Through Thorson’s leadership, the Pacific Region has hosted the following events during her tenure:
In accepting the award, Thorson thanked her staff, especially her leaders in the Diversity and Civil Rights Division, for their support and dedication to these many important community programs that resulted in the City’s decision to honor us with this prestigious award.
The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. We are both a leader and trusted partner in fish and wildlife conservation, known for our scientific excellence, stewardship of lands and natural resources, dedicated professionals, and commitment to public service. For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit Connect with our Facebook page at, follow our tweets at, watch our YouTube Channel at and download photos from our Flickr page at