WASHINGTON – May 9, 2012 – Ducks Unlimited announced today that Gary Taylor, current legislative director for the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (AFWA), will be joining the organization as DU's new director of governmental affairs in Washington, D.C., beginning in June.
"We are excited that Gary will join Ducks Unlimited to assist us in accomplishing our conservation mission," said Paul Schmidt, DU chief conservation officer. "He has an outstanding portfolio of professional experience, impressive leadership and wildlife conservation partnership skills and will bring valuable expertise to our important efforts in public policy."
Taylor has been with AFWA for more than 20 years, representing the collective perspectives of the 50 state fish and wildlife agencies and their legislative and public policy work before Congress and federal agencies such as the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, National Park Service, U.S. Forest Service, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service and others.
Prior to working at AFWA, Taylor spent nearly 20 years with the Maryland Department of Natural Resources Wildlife Division, progressing through the ranks from entry-level district wildlife manager all the way up to director of the division. He earned his Master of Science degree from the University of Maryland in 1977, focusing on the range determination and habitat description of the Delmarva fox squirrel. He also served briefly as adjunct professor in natural resource policy at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore.
As DU's director of governmental affairs, Taylor will provide strategic leadership within DU's Governmental Affairs Office and on Capitol Hill, guide an accomplished team of public policy professionals nationwide and serve as a member of DU's senior executive team. Taylor comes to DU with vast experience dealing with the same conservation policy issues he will be asked to address in his new role, including the Farm Bill; North American Wetlands Conservation Act; Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp; Clean Water Act; and other hunting, fishing, land and conservation legislation.
"Public policy has become an increasingly important part of the work of Ducks Unlimited over the years. Whether it's the funding levels associated with NAWCA, the conservation programs in the Farm Bill or the price of the federal duck stamp, it is important DU be effectively represented in Washington, D.C.," Schmidt said. "Gary will be a strong, experienced face for DU and for waterfowl and wetlands policy issues on Capitol Hill. We look forward to having him on Team DU."
Ducks Unlimited is the world's largest nonprofit organization dedicated to conserving North America's continually disappearing waterfowl habitats. Established in 1937, DU is celebrating its 75th anniversary this year, with special events, projects and promotions across the continent. 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. For more information on our work, visit www.ducks.org. Connect with us on our Facebook page at facebook.com/ducksunlimited, follow our tweets at twitter.com/ducksunlimited and watch DU videos at youtube.com/ducksunlimitedinc.