HELENA — Former Montana Fish, Wildlife and Park Director Martha Williams was sworn in as Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) by Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland Tuesday.
Williams had been serving as Principal Deputy Director of the Fish and Wildlife Service since January 20, 2021, exercising the delegable authority of the Director.
“Martha’s decades of experience in conservation, wildlife management, and natural resources stewardship have been a crucial asset as the Department of the Interior tackles the dual climate and biodiversity crises,” said Secretary Haaland. “Her strategic vision and collaborative approach will be key in her role as Director of the Fish and Wildlife Service and as the Department works to conserve, connect, and restore America’s lands, waters and wildlife for current and future generations.”
Williams was confirmed by the Senate last month by voice vote last month. In January, the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public works approved her nomination as director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in a 16-4 vote.
“It’s an incredible honor to serve the American people as Director of the Fish and Wildlife Service at a time when the challenges and opportunities to maintain healthy ecosystems and wildlife have never been greater. I look forward to continuing my life’s work of collaborating with local communities and stakeholders to tackle conservation efforts and the tough wildlife and resource management issues facing the country,” said Director Williams.
Williams was appointed to head FWP by former Gov. Steve Bullock and served as director from 2017-2020. She was the first woman to head the department.
Prior to heading FWP, she taught at the Alexander Blewett III School of Law at the University of Montana, working for a time as a solicitor at the Department of Interior, and was a lawyer at FWP from 1998 to 2011.
USFWS is within the United States Department of the Interior dedicated to the management of fish, wildlife, and natural habitats.