Dan Ashe

Dan Ashe
Director, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

Headquarters: Washington, D.C.
Website: www.fws.gov
Primary Business: Conservation of fish and wildlife and their habitats
Revenues: $1.3 billion
Employees: 9,000

Talent as Diverse as Nation’s Wildlife at U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

For more than a century, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has worked to conserve our natural heritage for the benefit of all Americans. But like the United States itself, the conservation challenges we face—including the effects of climate change, water scarcity, and habitat destruction—are changing and growing.

We cannot succeed in our conservation mission without the support and engagement of our partners and the American people. We can’t secure that support unless we can demonstrate our relevance to an increasingly diverse and urbanized nation.
By bringing in talented, diverse people, we can foster new and innovative ways of thinking, while helping all Americans understand that they have a personal stake in fish and wildlife conservation. That’s why we have worked so hard to recruit and retain a workforce that reflects the diversity of our country.

We’ve developed a five-year plan designed to foster a culture that supports diversity and inclusion. We’re stepping that plan down by communicating regularly with employees and hiring managers, as well as implementing training requirements and promoting best practices.

We’ve created a program designed to identify and train leaders at all levels of the Service to serve as Diversity Change Agents. These men and women are advocates, problem solvers, and role models, providing vital support and feedback on the progress of diversity efforts.

One of our deputy directors, Rowan Gould, has taken charge of these efforts, overseeing recruitment activities of diverse applicants. We have hired nine recruiters to help us seek out diverse applicants.

We have built partnerships with organizations like Gallaudet University and the Gates Millennium Scholars and Washington Internships for Native Students Programs, helping us identify and attract diverse candidates. Interagency efforts like the Department of Veterans Affairs’ Coming Home to Work Program and the Department of Homeland Security’s Operation Warfighter Program have helped us recruit military veterans.

We’re not where we want to be, but we’ve made significant progress—and others are beginning to take notice. A few months ago, we were the only federal agency recognized by the State of Virginia as a 2012 Diversity Employment Champion.
While accolades are nice, our ultimate goal is to make diversity a routine part of how we do business. When it’s not a big deal to us or anyone else, we’ll know we’ve truly succeeded.

Education: BS, Florida State University; MS, University of Washington
First Job: Bagging groceries
What I’m Reading: On a Farther Shore: The Life and Legacy of Rachel Carson, by William Souder
My Philosophy: Treat others as you would like others to treat you. And, as Mary Anne Radmacher says: “Live with intention; walk to the edge; listen hard; practice wellness; play with abandon; laugh; choose with no regret; continue to learn; appreciate your friends; do what you love; live as if this is all there is.”
Best Advice: “If it is not right do not do it; if it is not true do not say it.” – Marcus Aurelius
Interests: Waterfowl hunting, fishing, tennis, scuba diving