Paul Souza is the Assistant Director for Science Applications of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Paul provides leadership on science policy and scientific applications in resource management and serves as counsel to the Service Director on scientific matters. This includes leading agency efforts to respond to changes in the global climate system; shaping the Service's agenda for change toward a science-driven landscape conservation business model; expanding Service capacities to acquire, apply and communicate scientific information; promoting active involvement of the Service and its employees in the larger scientific community; strengthening and expanding partnerships between the Service and other scientific organizations, particularly states and the U.S. Geological Survey; and cultivating the next generation of Service scientists.
Prior to his current role, Paul served as the Deputy Assistant Director for the Service’s Ecological Services Program in 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 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 the Service's 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.
Before his time in south Florida, Paul worked in the Service’s Branch of Conservation Planning Assistance in headquarters. He served there as the national lead for the Fish and Wildlife Coordination Act and Coastal Barrier Resources Act and helped manage budget and performance. He also represented the Service on the Trilateral Committee – composed of natural resource agencies in Canada, Mexico and the United States – and focused on imperiled species conservation. During this stint in headquarters, he also served as a representative to the Director's Science Excellence Program.
Paul joined the Fish and Wildlife Service 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 nine year old son named Garret and seven year old daughter named Maddie.
Assistant Director of the Science Applications Office