Management Board

IWJV Management Board members share a common passion for bird and other wildlife habitat, as well as a strong desire to nurture and grow partnerships with other entities in order to accomplish significant and meaningful conservation work in the Intermountain West.

The IWJV is governed by an executive-level Management Board — including state fish and wildlife agency directors, federal agency and non-governmental organization leadership, corporate partners representing the energy sector, and influential western private landowners — ensuring that varying perspectives have a seat at the table to seek common ground for lasting conservation.

At its core, the Management Board is committed to achieving the IWJV’s goals of developing strong science, providing funding and leverage opportunities, strengthening the public-private partnership, employing strategic communications, and monitoring and evaluation of outcomes to accomplish its vitally important work.

Ron Alvarado

State Conservationist, Oregon
Natural Resources Conservation Service

Ron Alvarado

State Conservationist, Oregon
Natural Resources Conservation Service

Ron, a 19-year veteran of the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), has served as the Oregon State Conservationist since December of 2008. Previously, he served as the NRCS State Conservationist for New York. Ron began his NRCS career as a student trainee while attending New Mexico State University. During this time, he worked in several NRCS field offices throughout the state and spent a short time in the New Mexico State Office. After graduating with a Bachelor’s in Horticulture/Agronomy and a minor in Soil Science in 1994, he went on to hold various positions with the agency, including Soil Conservationist and District Conservationist in Arizona and Basin Team Leader and Assistant State Conservationist for Operations in Oregon. Ron’s work experience brings Oregon’s communities and landowners a solid background of technical excellence, strategic conservation planning, and innovative leadership.

Ron was born and raised on a small farm north of Las Cruces, New Mexico, where he and his family raised pecans, alfalfa, and various vegetables, particularly red and green chiles for the farmers market. These days, Ron loves to exercise, remodel and renovate homes, work on old cars, read, and listen to music.

Kim Brackett

Cattle Rancher
Brackett Ranches, Idaho

Kim Brackett

Cattle Rancher
Brackett Ranches, Idaho

Kim Brackett co-owns and operates Brackett Ranches Limited Partnership with her husband, Ira. Brackett Ranches is a cow/calf and stocker operation based in southern Idaho and eastern Oregon.  

Kim has extensive experience in the cattle industry, most recently serving as Chair of the Cattle Industry’s 2025 Long Range Plan Task Force, which creates the strategic plan for both the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association and the Cattlemen’s Beef Board. She also currently chairs the National Beef Quality Assurance Advisory Board that continually reviews research on animal welfare, antibiotic use, land use, and sustainable water management systems to bolster best management practices for the cattle industry.

Kim serves on the Idaho Cattle Association’s Board of Directors and is active in her local cattle associations. She is a member of the Idaho Rangeland Conservation Partnership, along with the U.S. Roundtable for Sustainable Beef. Prior to her current role, Kim served as Chairman of the Cattlemen’s Beef Board, and as chair of both the Idaho Beef Council and the Idaho Beef Quality Assurance Advisory Board.

Kim was selected as an Eisenhower Fellow in 2018. During her Fellowship, she studied regenerative agriculture practices in Argentina and Australia. Her primary interest lies in the benefits of intensive grazing on the landscape, particularly the impact it has on soil health and wildlife habitat.   

Kim and her husband, Ira, are both generational ranchers with a rich legacy of cattle ranching they hope to pass on to their children.

Mike Fowlks

Director
Utah Division of Wildlife Resources

Mike Fowlks

Director
Utah Division of Wildlife Resources

Mike is the director of the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources. Before becoming director, Mike served as the Division’s deputy director for five years.  He spent eight years serving as the chief of the Law Enforcement section and seven years as the legislative liaison. He also served as a liaison with other professional law enforcement agencies, including county sheriffs and the Utah Department of Public Safety. In his different liaison roles, Mike has helped develop and write law enforcement policy and draft proposed statutory language.

Mike earned his Utah Police Officers Standards and Training in 1993 and worked in the Division’s Law Enforcement section for more than 20 years. He has a Bachelor’s in Zoology/Animal Biology from the University of Utah and is a graduate of the FBI National Academy for Law Enforcement Administrators and the National Conservation Leadership Institute.   

Alan Jenne

Habitat Division Administrator
Nevada Department of Wildlife

Alan Jenne

Habitat Division Administrator
Nevada Department of Wildlife

Alan is a third generation Nevadan who has had the pleasure of growing up across Nevada’s rural communities and experiencing the associated wildland wonders. Alan obtained his bachelor’s in wildlife management from the University of Idaho before beginning his career with the Nevada Department of Wildlife (NDOW) in 1993. During Alan’s NDOW tenure, he has spent over ten years as a field biologist working on native trout recovery and riparian health. He then moved over to habitat management and eventually advanced to the Habitat Division Administrator in 2013. Prior to joining the ranks of the IWJV Management Board, Alan served as an IWJV Nevada State Conservation Partnership Co-Chair since 2014.

Ron Leathers

Public Finance Director
Pheasants Forever

Ron Leathers

Public Finance Director
Pheasants Forever

Ron has led Pheasants Forever/Quail Forever’s Public Finance team since 2004. Ron’s team is responsible for providing financial oversight and administering more than 500 partnership agreements with local, state, and Federal partners. Before moving to Pheasants Forever’s National Office, Ron worked as one of the organization’s first Farm Bill Biologists stationed in the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Service Center in Parker, South Dakota. Prior to his time with Pheasants Forever, Ron worked for the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission and the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies. Ron’s background is in wildlife biology and public policy. He has a B.S. from the University of Wyoming and an M.S. from South Dakota State University. He was also a graduate of the National Conservation Leadership Institute’s 3rdcohort.

Sherry Liguori

Avian Program Manager
Rocky Mountain Power/Pacific Power

Sherry Liguori

Avian Program Manager
Rocky Mountain Power/Pacific Power

Sherry is the Avian Program Manager for PacifiCorp (Rocky Mountain Power/Pacific Power), and is based out of Salt Lake City, Utah.  She is current Vice Chair of the Avian Power Line Interaction Committee and was the project manager and primary author of Suggested Practices for Avian Protection on Power Lines: The State of the Art in 2006.  She has 18 years of professional experience as an avian biologist, working for the New Jersey Endangered & Nongame Species Program, HawkWatch International, and PacifiCorp.  She has a B.S. in Natural Resource Management and Wildlife Biology and a M.S. in Ecology and Evolution, both from Rutgers University.

Jeff McCreary

Western Region Conservation Programs Director
Ducks Unlimited, Inc.

Jeff McCreary

Western Region Conservation Programs Director
Ducks Unlimited, Inc.

Jeff is a native Californian who has been with DU for over 12 years and has worked for over 15 years in the wetland conservation and restoration field throughout the western United States. Jeff received a Bachelor’s degree in wildlife biology from the University of California at Davis and a Master’s degree in wetland ecology from Duke University. Jeff began his tenure with DU in Pocatello, Idaho and spent the next seven years developing, managing, and implementing wetland and associated habitat conservation projects from the Mexican border to the Canadian border in Arizona, Nevada, Utah, and Idaho.

“While my job and family are in California, there is no escaping the majesty and power of the Intermountain West once it’s found you,” he said.  “From the Steens to the Wind Rivers, from the Sky Islands to Purcells, and everything in between, it is hard to explain to those who have never spent much time there how such a vast area can have so much to offer.”

Ken McDonald

Wildlife Bureau Chief
Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks

Ken McDonald

Wildlife Bureau Chief
Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks

Ken is the Chief of Wildlife with Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks, where he oversees the Wildlife Management, Wildlife Habitat, and Hunter Access programs for MFWP.  He has been in this position since 2007, and worked in the Fisheries Division at MFWP from 1998-2007.  Prior to coming to Montana, he worked for the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources from 1990-1998 as the Furbearer Biologist and then Regional Nongame Manager.  Ken received his B.S. in Wildlife and Fisheries Biology from University of California at Davis, and M.S. in Zoology from Ohio State University.

Curt Melcher

Director
Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife

Curt Melcher

Director
Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife

Curt Melcher is a native Oregonian, who graduated from the University of Oregon with a B.S. degree in Biology.

He has devoted 28 years of his career to the protection and management of Oregon’s fish and wildlife. During his time at the Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife, he has represented the State of Oregon in numerous regional management forums, including the Pacific Fishery Management Council, Klamath Fishery Management Council, and Pacific Salmon Commission Southern Panel.

He served as the Deputy Director for ODFW, accountable for all Fish & Wildlife programs leading over 1,200 employees. Curt was appointed the Interim Director in September 2014 and Director in February 2015.

Curt is passionate about the conservation of Oregon’s natural resources and is an avid hunter and angler.

Miles Moretti

President/CEO
Mule Deer Foundation

Miles Moretti

President/CEO
Mule Deer Foundation

Miles became President/CEO of the Mule Deer Foundation (MDF) in October 2006 and has helped MDF become one of the fastest growing wildlife conservation groups in the United States. Previously, Miles served 30 years for the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, where he retired as Deputy Director. Miles has served on several committees such as the California Outdoor Heritage Alliance, Pacific Flyway, the Colorado Fish & Wildlife Council, and the Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies Federal Budget & Legislative Committee. He is a Life Member of the Mule Deer Foundation and National Rifle Association, and a member of the Wildlife Society, Boone & Crockett Club, and the National Wild Turkey Federation.

Miles grew up in southwest Wyoming and has a B.S. in Wildlife Management from Utah State University and an M.S. in Range/Wildlife Resources from Brigham Young University. Miles and his wife, Julie, have two daughters and reside in North Salt Lake City, Utah.  

Brian Nesvik

Director
Wyoming Game & Fish Department

Brian Nesvik

Director
Wyoming Game & Fish Department

Brian Nesvik graduated from the University of Wyoming in 1994 with a B.S. in Wildlife and Fisheries Biology and Management. In 1995 he was selected by the Wyoming Game and Fish Department to serve as a wildlife law enforcement technician. He worked boating enforcement in the summer in the Glendo and Guernsey areas and worked fall hunting seasons in Laramie, Glendo and Wheatland. In 1997, Brian was selected as a game warden trainee in Casper, WY where he served for one year before being selected for his first Game Warden District in Elk Mountain, WY. In Elk Mountain, Nesvik gained experience dealing with controversial private land issues, wildlife management, and law enforcement in one of Wyoming’s most utilized forests.

Nesvik served the Elk Mountain area for 7 years before being selected for the South Pinedale Game Warden District in western Wyoming. Nesvik served here patrolling remote wilderness areas in the summer and fall, and protecting one of Wyoming’s most coveted mule deer herds in the winter. He had the opportunity to work several complex winter range poaching cases through his assignment in Pinedale. Nesvik also took on responsibility as the Department’s lead mounted horse patrol instructor, a duty he continued through his time as Chief Warden.

In 2010, Nesvik was promoted to serve as the Cody Regional Wildlife Supervisor charged with overseeing a large staff of game wardens, biologists and administrative folks. He dealt with significant endangered species issues involving grizzly bears and wolves, and complex elk management challenges for Yellowstone Park border herds. Additionally, Nesvik spent time working with biologists and wardens in some of the most remote country in the lower 48 states.

After a short ten months, Nesvik was appointed to serve as Wyoming’s Chief Game Warden and Chief of the Wildlife Division in 2011. He and his family relocated to Cheyenne and took the myriad of challenges associated with state level wildlife management and law enforcement. In March of 2019, Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon appointed Nesvik as the Director of the Wyoming Game and Fish Department and he continues to serve in this position.

Additionally, Nesvik has served in the Wyoming Army National Guard since 1986. He currently serves as the Commanding General of the Wyoming Army National Guard and the Assistant Adjutant General holding the rank of Brigadier General. Nesvik served as a commander on two deployments to Operation Iraqi Freedom in Baghdad, Southern Iraq, and Kuwait, first as a company commander with 180 Soldiers and secondly as a battalion commander with 680 Soldiers. He is a graduate of the Army War College and holds a Masters of Science degree in Strategic Studies.

Nesvik is married to wife Penny of 22 years and has three children Brittany, Rudy, and Aspen. He enjoys hunting, fishing, boating, and horseback riding.

Patrick O'Toole

Cattle & Sheep Rancher
Ladder Livestock Company, Wyoming/Colorado

Patrick O’Toole

Cattle & Sheep Rancher
Ladder Livestock Company, Wyoming/Colorado

Pat is a cattle and sheep rancher and a hay grower with a strong background in irrigated agriculture and Wyoming politics. He has served as the Family Farm Alliance’s President since March 2005 and is also on the Board of Directors for Produced Water Development.

Pat and his wife, Sharon, live on a ranch near Savery that has been in her family since 1881. It straddles the Wyoming-Colorado border and has long afforded Pat the opportunity to view a broad range of conservation issues first hand. Their ranch includes five miles of Battle Creek, which Audubon Wyoming is designating as an Important Bird Area. Pat is an Advisory Board member on AGree–a new initiative that will tackle long-term food, conservation and agriculture policy issues. His other efforts include participating in the Johnson Foundation Freshwater Summit, and as a Blue Ribbon panelist to advise NRCS/USDA on the conservation title of the 2012 Farm Bill. 

Pat and Sharon have three children, including a daughter, a son and five grandchildren living on the ranch. Another daughter lives in Denver.

Dan Prenzlow

Director
Colorado Parks and Wildlife

Dan Prenzlow

Director
Colorado Parks and Wildlife

Dan Prenzlow was appointed Director of Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) by Governor Jared Polis in May 2019. He has spent 33 years working on the conservation of Colorado’s natural resources and recreation opportunities and maintains his law enforcement certification. Prior to his director appointment and since 2005, Dan served as the CPW Southeast Regional Manager based in Colorado Springs. Dan began his career with the Colorado Division of Wildlife in 1986 as a District Wildlife Manager patrolling the Castle Rock area before he was promoted to the Meeker Area Wildlife Manager in 1992. Dan received his B.S. in Wildlife Biology from Colorado State University in 1985. He is married to his wonderful wife, Brenda, and they have two daughters, Danika and Alaura. Dan’s lifelong dedication and passion for Colorado is central to his personal and professional life.

John Ruhs

Idaho State Director
Bureau of Land Management

John Ruhs

Idaho State Director
Bureau of Land Management

John F. Ruhs began his job as the BLM-Idaho State Director in March 2019.

John was most recently the BLM Assistant Director of Fire and Aviation at the National Interagency Fire Center (NIFC) in Boise, Idaho. He also served as the State Director for BLM Nevada from 2015 until 2018. While he was the Nevada State Director, John was asked to serve as the acting BLM Deputy Director of Operations for the BLM National headquarters, which he did from April 2017 until December 2017. Prior to coming to Nevada, he served as BLM’s Eastern States Director.  

John has extensive experience in land management in the West, including previous assignments as the Ely District Manager and Winnemucca Fire Management Officer in Nevada; and the District Manager of the High Desert District in Wyoming. John has also worked for the BLM in Colorado, Idaho and Oregon in rangeland management and wild horse and burro management positions.

John is a native of Iowa and served in the U.S. Marine Corps. He received his Bachelor of Science degree in Animal Science from the University of Idaho. He and his wife Amy have seven daughters. He enjoys outdoor activities including riding horses, camping and playing golf.

Brian Rutledge

Sagebrush Ecosystem Initiative Director
National Audubon Society

Brian Rutledge

Sagebrush Ecosystem Initiative Director
National Audubon Society

As Sagebrush Ecosystem Initiative Director, Brian Rutledge is dedicated to protecting Greater Sage-grouse and the sagebrush ecosystem that is part of our country’s great natural heritage. In his role as a member of the Governor’s Sage-grouse Implementation Task Force, Brian helped former Wyoming Governor Dave Freudenthal draft and initiate the Sage-grouse Core Area Program, directing state agencies in the Cowboy State to conserve key breeding areas for this dwindling species. He is currently working with the Department of the Interior, Congress and the Tribes of the Wind River Reservation to seek a balance between the protection of our wildlife and the responsible development of renewable energy resources in Wyoming and the Rocky Mountain West.

Brian brings a wealth of knowledge of non-profit organizations and conservation to the Audubon team. He served for five years as the President/Chief Executive Officer of Zoo New England and was Executive Director of the Maryland Zoological Society for thirteen years. For many years, Brian and his wife Kathleen have made their permanent home on the Front Range of the Rockies.  

Ed Schriever

Director
Idaho Department of Fish & Game

Ed Schriever

Director
Idaho Department of Fish & Game

Ed Schriever was appointed in January 2019 as Director of the Idaho Department of Fish and Game (IDFG). Prior to his appointment as Director he served as Deputy Director, overseeing field operations; and Chief of Fisheries, leading the state fishery program, overseeing management, research hatcheries, habitat, fish health and genetics. In his capacity as Chief of Fisheries, Ed also represented Idaho in the US vs OR forum during the re-negotiation of the Columbia River fisheries management agreement. He serves as Chairman of the National Fish Habitat Board and a representative to the Interagency Grizzly Bear Policy Committee. Ed has been employed by IDFG since 1984.

Ed graduated from Oregon State University with a B.S. degree in Fisheries Science.

His career passion has been managing the sustainable interaction Idaho hunters, trappers, and anglers enjoy with their wildlife.

Jean Semborski

Environmental Coordinator
ConocoPhillips Company

Jean Semborski

Environmental Coordinator
ConocoPhillips Company

Jean Semborski is a long-time resident of Carbon County, Utah, and has worked in the mineral extraction industry for the past thirty years. Over that period she has been involved in environmental work and projects in the central and southern Utah area.  She has served on the Board of Oil, Gas and Mining as a member knowledgeable in mineral production and environmental matters since 2005.  In the past she has been involved with state and federal agencies to prepare and implement a number of habitat improvement projects for elk, mule deer, raptors, waterfowl, and sage grouse in the Carbon and Emery County areas.  Her involvement included arranging funding, planning, and managing resource surveys as well as coordination and management of contractors and fieldwork.   

At present, Jean is employed by ConocoPhillips as the Environmental Coordinator for Rockies Operations.  She is now responsible for environmental compliance in five western states and works closely with state and federal agencies to maintain compliance with environmental regulations and with many stakeholders who hold an interest in natural resources extraction, regulation, and environmental issues. She is working with state and local entities in western Colorado to promote the management of avian species and wildlife enhancement of a 40,000-acre property owned by ConocoPhillips. 

Paul Souza

California-Great Basin Interior Regional Director
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

Paul Souza

California-Great Basin Interior Regional Director
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

Paul Souza is the Regional Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s (USFWS) California-Great Basin Interior Region (IR). The IR includes portions of California and Nevada as well as the Klamath Basin (Oregon).

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

Paul also previously served as the Deputy Assistant Director for the USFWS Ecological Services Program at USFWS 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 USFWS 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 USFWS 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 USFWS 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.

Jim Stone

Cattle Rancher
Rolling Stone Ranch, Montana

Jim Stone

Cattle Rancher
Rolling Stone Ranch, Montana

Jim is a third generation cattle rancher from the small town of Ovando in Western Montana. Their Black Angus cow/calf operation relies on their son Brady, when not in school, to provide a stable and energetic vision to maintaining a valuable and picturesque landscape. Jim’s wife, Colleen, a fifth generation rancher, owns a local establishment called the Stray Bullet which adds dining pleasure to their incredible landscape on the southern end of the Crown of the Continent. The Stones believe in a strong tradition of rural communities, land ethics and working together to foster change that will benefit generations to come. The ranch operates on the premise that people are our most valuable asset: partnerships are critical to the daily operations and the ability to leverage knowledge and science to achieve their goals.

Jim is actively involved in the Blackfoot Challenge, a local watershed organization, the Big Blackfoot Chapter of Trout Unlimited, North Powell Conservation District, Ovando School Board, and the Ovando Fire Department.

Robyn Thorson

Columbia-Pacific Northwest & Pacific Islands Interior Regional Director
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

Robyn Thorson

Columbia-Pacific Northwest & Pacific Islands Interior Regional Director
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

Robyn Thorson is the Regional Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s (USFWS) Columbia-Pacific Northwest and Pacific Islands Interior Regions (IR). Robyn focuses her conservation leadership on collaboration with others, including Tribes and indigenous island communities, states, agricultural and natural resource dependent communities, private landowners in rural and urban settings, watershed councils, conservation groups, coral reef advisory groups, universities, land trusts, among other valued partners.

Robyn started her federal career with USFWS in 1985 in the Portland Regional Office. She subsequently has worked in three other USFWS regional offices and had two separate appointments in the USFWS Washington, DC, office. The Columbia-Pacific Northwest IR includes Idaho, Oregon (except for the Klamath Basin), Washington, and a portion of western Montana. The Pacific Islands IR includes Hawai’i and the Pacific Islands.

Before becoming IR Director in November 2008, Robyn served five years as Director of USFWS’ eight-state Midwest Region, based in Minnesota. Prior to that position, she was the USFWS Assistant Director for External Affairs in Washington, DC, from August 2000 until March 2003. In that position, she supervised the USFWS programs for Public Affairs, Congressional and Legislative Affairs, Native American Liaison and Research Coordination. She also provided Washington office oversight for the USFWS National Conservation Training Center in Shepherdstown, West Virginia.

Immediately prior to her appointment as Assistant Director, she worked for the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) in Seattle, Washington, as the Associate Regional Chief Biologist for the USGS Biological Resources Division from January 1999 until August 2000.

Almost a third of Robyn’s USFWS career was in Alaska. From 1995 to January 1999, she was the Deputy Regional Director for the Alaska Region and from 1989 to 1993, she was the Associate Regional Director, responsible for issues related to the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. In between her Alaska assignments, Robyn served as the Assistant Regional Director for Budget and Administration for the USFWS Southwest Region, headquartered in Albuquerque, New Mexico. She was the Special Assistant to the Deputy Director of USFWS in 1988 and 1989 and before that, she worked in the Regional Office in Portland, Oregon, in the Endangered Species Program and in Contracting.

Robyn earned her Juris Doctorate at the University of Oregon School of Law. She was an attorney for the State of Washington before starting her federal career, and she maintains her license to practice law in Washington. She intends to see a game in every Major League ballpark in America.

Noreen Walsh

Missouri/Upper Colorado Basins Interior Regional Director
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

Noreen Walsh

Missouri/Upper Colorado Basins Interior Regional Director
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

Noreen Walsh is the Regional Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s (USFWS) Upper Colorado Basin and Missouri Basin Interior Regions (IR). She oversees USFWS activities for the nine states – Colorado, Kansas, (most of) Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah, and Wyoming – in the IRs and leads more than one thousand employees – from the regional office in Lakewood, Colorado, to the Bozeman Fish Technology Center in Montana, to the Flint Hills National Wildlife Refuge in Kansas.

Her responsibilities range from overseeing the streamlining of business processes, to furthering a culture of strategic habitat conservation, to planning for the future workforce needs of the agency.  She leads USFWS’ role in a West-wide conservation initiative focused on greater sage-grouse and its sagebrush habitat, and has supported the “working landscape” conservation model under the America’s Great Outdoors Initiative.

Before becoming Deputy Regional Director, Noreen served in three other regions of USFWS, as well as in the headquarters office. Immediately prior to her time as Deputy Regional Director, she served as the Assistant Regional Director for Ecological Services in the agency’s Southeast Region headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia.

Noreen holds a bachelor’s degree in fisheries and wildlife biology from Michigan State University and a master’s degree in wildlife biology from Colorado State University. She and her husband Mark Willms reside in the Denver area with their two daughters, Claire and Leah.