Former WDFW Director Selected For USFWS Science Position

Jim Unsworth, whose resignation from the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife took effect a year ago this month, has been hired for a new role with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.


He will begin work as the federal agency’s Pacific Region Assistant Regional Director for Science Applications later this month.

“Based in Portland, his staff provides technical guidance, collaborative landscape-level conservation, and science-related funding opportunities to partners throughout the Pacific Region, which includes Idaho, Oregon, Washington, Hawaii, and the Pacific Islands, including America Samoa, Guam and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. As a member of the Regional Directorate, Unsworth will serve as the senior scientist in the agency’s largest and most biologically diverse region,” a USFWS press release out earlier this week states.

With multiple degrees and fish and wildlife management from universities in the Northwest, Unsworth worked his way up through the Idaho Department of Fish and Game before being hired by the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission in early 2015.

He had a rocky three-year tenure at WDFW that was complicated by deteriorating ocean conditions affecting salmon returns and fisheries management, among numerous factors, and in early 2018 he announced his resignation to “pursue other personal and professional goals in wildlife and natural resource management.”

Unsworth appears to have found those outlets with his new job.

“The science portfolio of the Pacific Northwest is in excellent hands,” said Robyn Thorson, USFWS regional director, in the press release. “The Service, our partners and the public will benefit from Jim’s proven leadership skills and collaborative approach to conservation. Dr. Unsworth’s state experience and impressive science credentials will continue our positive momentum on partnership-based landscape conservation.”

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