USFWS migratory bird director accepts top conservation post with Ducks Unlimited

Posted Jan. 17, 2011, at 2:16 p.m.

MEMPHIS, Tenn — Paul Schmidt, assistant director for migratory birds with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, has been named Chief Conservation Officer for Ducks Unlimited Inc., according to DU CEO Dale Hall. Schmidt succeeds Dr. Alan Wentz, who retired in September 2010.

As CCO for Ducks Unlimited, Schmidt will lead DU’s national and international conservation programs and serve as a member of the senior executive team. His responsibilities will include supervision of all of DU’s public policy, science and habitat conservation operations, including four regional offices focused on conservation delivery and a governmental affairs office in Washington, D.C., dedicated to public policy work.

“I believe Paul will bring innovative leadership to Ducks Unlimited’s conservation programs, as well as important perspectives on the challenges wetlands and waterfowl conservation will face in the future,” Hall said, in a press release issued Jan. 17. “He will inherit a tremendous staff of conservation professionals in DU that will continue to provide strong leadership. I believe the addition of Paul Schmidt to our team will position DU for great accomplishments as we move forward.”

Schmidt is a career employee with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service with more than 30 years of service. For the past six years, he has been the agency’s director of all activities related to the management of migratory birds.

“After almost 33 years with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, I am thrilled to be selected as the Chief Conservation Officer for Ducks Unlimited Inc.,” Schmidt said. “This is an important position within a leading conservation organization. I am very excited to take my passion and experience to Ducks Unlimited with a re-energized spirit and hope for wetlands and waterfowl conservation. This is a critical time for leadership from the private, non-governmental sector in conservation and I want to contribute to this far-reaching mission.”

Ducks Unlimited is the world’s largest nonprofit organization dedicated to conserving North America’s continually disappearing waterfowl habitats. Established in 1937, Ducks Unlimited has conserved more than 12 million acres thanks to contributions from more than a million supporters across the continent. Guided by science and dedicated to program efficiency, DU works toward the vision of wetlands sufficient to fill the skies with waterfowl today, tomorrow and forever.

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