Gov. Doug Burgum today appointed Wildlife Division Chief Jeb Williams to serve as the next director of the North Dakota Game and Fish Department, effective Aug. 24, citing his broad experience and leadership during his 22-year career with the agency.
Williams joined the Game and Fish Department in 1999 and has served in a variety of roles including natural resource technician and biologist, outreach biologist and wildlife resource management supervisor. He was named chief of the department’s Wildlife Division in 2014 after having served as assistant wildlife chief since 2011.
“Jeb has a strong track record as a highly capable leader on issues affecting fish and wildlife resources and as an effective communicator in relating those issues to North Dakota’s hunters and anglers and the general public,” Burgum said. “His extensive background, commitment to public service and trusted leadership within Game and Fish will benefit North Dakota citizens and the management of our state’s abundant wildlife resources.”
Williams grew up in Beach, N.D., and earned a bachelor’s degree in biology from Dickinson State University. He is a past recipient of the Governor’s Award for Excellence in Public Service for developing and implementing outreach programs that benefit the department and citizens. As Wildlife Division chief, he has overseen the department’s largest division, helped formulate policy on the federal farm bill, successfully negotiated and implemented agreements for elk and bighorn sheep with Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and MHA Nation, and represented the department on several national boards, among other duties.
“I’m honored to be selected as the next director with the North Dakota Game and Fish Department and grateful for the opportunity to lead a very professional and dedicated agency committed to the well-being of North Dakota’s fish and wildlife resources,” Williams said.
Williams succeeds Director Terry Steinwand, who retired July 31 after more than 15 years as director and nearly 40 years with the department.
Burgum expressed his gratitude for Deputy Director Scott Peterson for serving as interim director since Steinwand’s retirement.
Game and Fish has a two-year budget of approximately $92 million and is authorized for 165 full-time team members.