Directorate Roles and Relationships

050 FW 1
FWM Number
Originating Office
Policy and Regulations Branch

1.1 Purpose. This chapter codifies Service policy on the roles and relationships of the Directorate.

1.2 Policy.

A. The Director, as the chief executive of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, establishes Service policy, sets priorities, issues directives, and is responsible for all the Service does or fails to do.

B. Regional Directors, as subordinate line officials, are directed by the Director and report to him/her/them. They are responsible for all matters delegated or assigned to them by the Director.

C. Assistant Directors serve as staff to the Director and assist him/her/them in carrying out the Service's programs. They are responsible for all matters delegated or assigned to them by the Director.

1.3 Objectives. The objectives of this policy are to:

A. Provide Regional Directors a single source of direction in Headquarters.

B. Provide Assistant Directors a clear role in the operations of the Service.

C. Improve teamwork in the direction and management of the Service.

1.4 Implementation.

A. Teamwork. The work of the Service is complex and varied requiring a wide range of skills and professions. In addition, the Service operates in all States and territories and is increasingly involved in international activities. This requires that subordinate line officials be delegated authority and responsibility to meet local conditions within national policy guidance. It also requires that all organizational levels -- Headquarters, Regional Offices, and field offices -- work as an interdependent team to accomplish the Service's mission effectively.

B. Policies and Priorities. The Director establishes Service policies and sets priorities with the support of the Assistant and Regional Directors. In carrying out these policies and priorities, Regional Directors may require Headquarters assistance which will be provided by the Assistant Directors.

C. Program Review. Assistant Directors are responsible for continually reviewing Service policy, legislative, budget, and operational guidance, and recommending changes to the Director. They must be alert to initiatives, problems, or inconsistencies in execution which may call for new or revised guidance. Assistant Directors will discuss these concerns with Regional Directors. Regional and Assistant Directors will keep the Director informed of all issues which may require his/her/their attention.

D. Directives. Service directives will be issued by the Director. Regional Directors may issue Regional directives that are not inconsistent with Service directives in order to tailor them to Regional conditions.

E. Communications. The Directorate will freely and openly communicate and coordinate with each other to assure a team effort in meeting the Service's goals. In this regard, Assistant Directors may request information from Regional Directors in order to carry out their assigned responsibilities. In addition, informal contacts and information sharing between Headquarters and Regional staffs are encouraged.

Amended by Decision Memorandum, “Approval of Revisions to ~350 Directives to Remove Gender-Specific Pronouns,” 6/22/2022