Paul Souza

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Paul Souza, Regional Director, Pacific Southwest Region, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Paul Souza is the Regional Director for U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in the Pacific Southwest.  The Pacific Southwest Region includes California, Nevada, and the Klamath Basin.  The Region is responsible for managing 48 National Wildlife Refuges comprising more than 2.8 million acres.  It also includes three Wildlife Management Areas in California, encompassing more than 104,000 acres; three National Fish Hatcheries and one Fish Health Center; and 11 Fish and Wildlife Offices.  The Pacific Southwest has nearly 300 threatened and endangered species on the road to recovery.

Prior to his current role, Paul served as the Assistant Director for Science Applications in headquarters.  Paul provided leadership on science policy and scientific applications in resource management.  This included leading agency efforts shape a science-driven landscape conservation business model; expanding Service capacities to acquire, apply and communicate scientific information; promoting active involvement of the Service and its employees in the larger scientific community; strengthening and expanding partnerships between the Service and other scientific organizations; and cultivating the next generation of Service scientists.

Paul also previously served as the Deputy Assistant Director for the Service’s 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 agencies and other partners to leverage resources that benefit wildlife conservation and other important needs such as farming and ranching, military readiness, and energy and infrastructure development.   

Before coming to headquarters, Paul was the Field Supervisor for the South Florida Ecological Services Office in Vero Beach, Florida.  In this capacity, Paul oversaw actions to conserve and recover 67 species listed under the Endangered Species Act and protect a host of important habitats for migratory birds, fish, and other wildlife.  Paul also helped oversee the Service's efforts to restore America's Everglades with many partners, planning and implementing projects to improve the health of the environment and conditions for imperiled species such as the Florida panther, wood stork, and snail kite.

Paul joined the Fish and Wildlife Service in 1997 as a Presidential Management Fellow.  He has a bachelor's degree in environmental studies with an emphasis in ecology from the University of California at Santa Barbara and a master's degree in urban and regional planning with an emphasis in environmental planning and natural resources management from Florida State University.  Paul and his wife Dana have a 13 year old son named Garret and 11 year old daughter named Maddie.