December 30, 2021 | By:

Speak Out Against Nomination of Unqualified New Head of Federal Wildlife Agency

If you missed TRI Carnivore Conservation Biologist Dave Parsons critical editorial “Concern Over President’s Choice to Head Federal Wildlife Agency” we encourage you to read it to learn why President Biden’s nominee for the Director of the US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) position, Ms. Martha Williams, is unqualified.

Ms. Williams’ appointment will go before the Senate for a vote, and we are asking you to contact your representatives in opposition. Please send the below message to your state’s Senators or all Senators. (Find your own Senator and their contact information here.)

Below is a script you may paste verbatim or personalize as you wish. The volume of contacts is far more important than the uniqueness of the message. Williams as Director of USFWS would be a disaster and a gift to trophy hunters and anti-endangered species factions.


Dear Senator [NAME?]:

President Biden has nominated an ineligible candidate for the position of Director of the US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) – Ms. Martha Williams. A vote to confirm Ms. Williams will be in violation of federal law. Under the law that established the USFWS, 16 U.S. Code § 742(b):

The Director of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service shall be appointed by the President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate. No individual may be appointed as the Director unless he is, by reason of scientific education and experience, knowledgeable in the principles of fisheries and wildlife management.

Ms. Williams is a lawyer and lacks “scientific education” credentials. The USFWS is globally recognized as an agency that conforms to high standards of scientific integrity. Federal law requires the agency to be led by a scientist. Since the USFWS was established by statute, the legal standard that appointed directors possess relevant scientific education credentials has never been violated, even by the Trump Administration.

Scientific integrity matters, and perceptions matter for both the morale of agency staff and the confidence of the American public in agency leaders. Addressing the existential threat of a biodiversity crisis driven by the onset of the sixth mass extinction of life on earth, this one human-caused, requires scientifically qualified, trusted leadership at the USFWS. I am very concerned about the precedent that would be set by the Biden Administration being the first to appoint a Director of the USFWS who lacks the statutorily required “scientific education.”

Please vote “no” on this nomination, and advise President Biden and the Secretary of the Interior to choose a nominee with impeccable scientific credentials – there is no shortage of qualified candidates.


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Bill Meeker
1 year ago

It has been many years since the USFWS was recognized as a science-based agency by the international community.

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