Paul Souza

a man posing for a photo
Regional Director, Pacific Southwest Region

About Paul Souza

Paul Souza has spent more than 25 years working in conservation for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

He joined the Service in 1997 as a Presidential Management Fellow and went on to lead the South Florida Ecological Services Office as a field supervisor, where he led actions to recover 67 listed species and protect a host of important habitats for migratory birds, fish and other wildlife. He helped lead the effort to restore America’s Everglades with partners, implementing projects to improve the health of the environment for species such as the Florida panther, wood stork and snail kite.

He later served as the Service’s Deputy Assistant Director for the Ecological Services program in Headquarters. In this capacity, he provided national leadership for the Endangered Species Act, Marine Mammal Protection Act, Fish and Wildlife Coordination Act, Clean Water Act and many other statutes. Paul worked closely with partners to leverage resources that benefit wildlife conservation and other important needs, such as farming and ranching, military readiness, and energy and infrastructure development. From there, he served as Assistant Director for Science Applications also in headquarters. In that role, he oversaw the nationwide network of partnership-driven Landscape Conservation Cooperatives; guided efforts to implement an integrated, strategic landscape-scale approach to adaptive wildlife management; and built the agency’s capacity to develop and apply science-based solutions to real world conservation problems.

For the past six plus years, Paul has led the Service’s Pacific Southwest Region in Sacramento. As Regional Director, he oversees programs in California, Nevada and the Klamath Basin of Oregon, implementing federal laws and policies including the Endangered Species Act and Migratory Bird Treaty Act. He also leads the region’s 50 national wildlife refuges, three national fish hatcheries and 13 fisheries and ecological services field offices from the region’s headquarters in Sacramento.

He has a bachelor’s degree in environmental studies from the University of California at Santa Barbara, and a master’s degree in urban and regional planning from Florida State University. Paul and his wife have a teenage daughter and son.

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