National Wildlife Refuge System
Siekaniec Appointed Deputy Director

photo of Greg Siekaniec
Greg Siekaniec

Gregory Siekaniec has been appointed deputy director for Policy of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, leaving the position of chief of the National Wildlife Refuge System, a position he held since 2009.

In his new capacity, Siekaniec will provide strategic program direction and develop policy and guidance to support and promote program development and fulfill the Service mission.

“Greg has done an outstanding job leading the Refuge System during challenging times, and I’m excited to have the opportunity to work with him as part of our leadership team. I know his more than two decades of field and Washington experience will continue to be an invaluable asset as we move forward with the Service’s conservation agenda,” said Service Director Dan Ashe in announcing the appointment.

Siekaniec has led efforts to prepare the Refuge System to meet the challenges of the 21st century. He oversaw a process to create a reinvigorated vision to guide the National Wildlife Refuge System for the next decade. Americans submitted more than 10,000 comments on the vision, which was ratified at the Conserving the Future conference July 11–14 in Madison, WI.

“We face a host of conservation challenges of a magnitude we have rarely seen,” said Siekaniec. “But the Refuge System has risen to equal challenges in decades past. With a new vision as its beacon, the Refuge System will again overcome challenges to add to America’s conservation legacy. I won’t be overseeing the Refuge System on a day–to–day basis, but rest assured, I will always have my eye on the Refuge System.”

Just before taking the helm of the Refuge System, Siekaniec spent eight years as the manager of Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge, one of the Refuge System’s most remote and far flung units. Alaska Maritime Refuge encompasses more than 2,500 islands and nearly five million acres.

Among his many achievements at Alaska Maritime Refuge, Siekaniec is credited with developing a host of partnerships with national conservation organizations to restore island biodiversity and ridding islands of destructive invasive species—foxes and rats—that had nearly eradicated native seabirds and other wildlife. Alaska Maritime Refuge provides nesting habitat for approximately 40 million seabirds, about 80 percent of Alaska’s nesting seabird population.

Siekaniec started his career at J. Clark Salyer National Wildlife Refuge, ND, as a clerk and moved into management positions in Montana, North Dakota and Wyoming in addition to Alaska. He served as deputy chief of the Refuge System before taking over leadership at Alaska Maritime Refuge in 2001.

Siekaniec earned a bachelor’s degree in wildlife biology from the University of Montana. He completed the Senior Executive Service Candidate Development Program in 2008, the same year that he completed the Senior Executive Fellows Program at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government.

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Friends Forward Summer 2011

Last updated: September 1, 2011