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Arkansas Game and Fish Commission

Explore Company PosterThe Arkansas Game and Fish Commission (AGFC) seeks to recruit a dynamic and visionary leader to serve as Director based in Little Rock, Arkansas.

About the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission:

The mission of the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission is “is to conserve and enhance Arkansas's fish and wildlife and their habitats while promoting sustainable use, public understanding and support.

The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission was created in 1915, but it was not until the passage of Amendment 35 in Arkansas's 1944 General Election that the Commission gained the power to enact lasting wildlife regulations. While the state legislature still has control of some aspects of Commission business, Amendment 35 was the true mark of the beginning of wildlife conservation in Arkansas. Amendment 35 of 1945 charges AGFC with the “control,

management, restoration, conservation and regulation of birds, fish, game and wildlife resources of the State.” It contains a user-fee mechanism (license and permit fees) and establishes a

dedicated Game Protection Fund in the State Treasury to be used solely by AGFC.

In November 1996, Arkansas voters approved Amendment 75, the 1/8th-Cent Conservation Sales Tax, with 45 percent of the proceeds to go to the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission. Amendment 75 of 1996 says Arkansans “find that fish, wildlife, parks, tourism and natural heritage constitute a major economic and natural resource of the state and they desire to

provide additional funds.” These constitutional amendments provide AGFC with a mix of

authority and funding that makes it responsible for all wildlife in the state, and responsible to all the people of Arkansas. The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission serves as the conservation and natural resource steward for “The Natural State.” Over the past 100 years, the Agency has overseen the protection, conservation, and preservation of fish and wildlife for all Arkansans and the world to enjoy. The Agency’s world-class educational programs, wildlife management, fishing and hunting, science and conservation research ensure for future generations Arkansas's fish and wildlife and their habitats. The motto of the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission is “Keeping the Natural State natural,” and to a significant degree, Arkansans have managed to do just that.

About AGFC

AGFC is authorized for 630 regular, full-time and 185 extra-help positions by Appropriation Act 125 of 2020 (SB157 of 2021 in current legislative session). There are 209 positions authorized for the Enforcement Division of the total 630 regular, authorized positions. The Agency budget is approximately $90 million. The AGFC revenue sources are 35% dedicated Conservation Tax, 30% license and fees, 26% Federal monies, and 9% other funds. The Agency does not rely on any general revenues from the State. The Agency’s expenses are approximately 51% personnel related. The Agency’s operational budget is 35% Wildlife, 17% Education, 16% Administrative/Other, 11% Fisheries, 10% Operations, 8% Enforcement, and 3% Communications. Last year AGFC sold 477,058 fishing licenses (72% resident, 28% non-resident) and 312,519 hunting licenses (78% resident, 22% non-resident).

The AGFC is composed of eight members; seven Governor-appointed members who serve regular seven-year staggered terms, and an ex-officio member who is chairman of the Department of Biological Sciences at the University of Arkansas. The Director’s staff includes three Deputy Directors, and twelve Division Chiefs over the functional divisions:

  • Enforcement Division plays a vital role in the success of the Commission's programs by enforcing the regulations for protection and enjoyment of fish, game, and nongame resources.

  • Fisheries Management Division manages the state's fisheries populations, manages lakes, reservoirs, and streams for public fishing, acquires, develops, and maintains stream access sites, lakes, nursery ponds and hatcheries.

  • Wildlife Management Division has the responsibility of managing the state's wildlife populations.

  • Communications Division is responsible for managing all internal and external communication efforts of the agency.

  • Education Division is responsible for managing the Hunter Education, Boating Education, Project WILD, Fishing in the Natural State, Arkansas Archery in the Schools Program, Arkansas Youth Shooting Sports Program and Aquatic Resources Education.

  • Fiscal Services Division administers the General Accounting, Licensing, Budgeting, Disbursing, Purchasing and Federal Aid sections. The License Section works with approximately 300 license dealers who make licenses and permits available locally.

  • Human Resources Division is responsible for personnel management functions, employee recruitment and training, and payroll processing.

  • Information Technology Division provides data processing services via a statewide PC network system for all divisions and operates the agency’s telephone communication system.

  • Legal Division includes the General Counsel for the agency and three staff attorneys.

  • Operations Division is responsible for vehicle fleet operations, building services and the operation of ten regional offices.

  • Environmental Coordination Division fulfills the agency’s responsibilities regarding federal acts and requirements by acting decisively and diplomatically on issues that are time sensitive.

  • Research Division is a group of specialized scientists supporting the agency through five focus areas: science support, monitoring, human dimensions, wildlife health and compliance.

For more information about Arkansas Game & Fish Commission please visit www.agfc.com.

About the Position: Director

The Director is the Chief Executive Officer for the overall direction and daily operation of the AGFC in the implementation and regulation of Commission policies and directives. The Director will provide the vision and energy to continue the Agency’s science-based conservation leadership into the future.

Using science as the guide, the Director will empower dedicated staff to craft and implement projects, programs, and regulations that benefit fish, wildlife, and their habitat. The Director will serve the citizens of Arkansas by enforcing state and federal game laws, educating the public, and providing outstanding opportunities to fish, hunt, and recreate. The Director must be an energetic leader and possess sophisticated financial and management capabilities. In the role as Director, this person will also serve to carry the Agency’s mission and vision to critical federal and state public policy, philanthropic, nonprofit, and corporate leaders. The Director will continue to position the Agency through its programs and activities as an innovative, inclusive, and forward-looking wildlife and conservation enterprise.

The broad strategic goals for the Director are as follows:

  • To support the development of a vibrant future by continuing to cultivate, expand and make best use of Agency’s shared leadership structure of Commissioners, State legislators, and other critical private and public stakeholders.

  • To support a comprehensive approach to address the long-term infrastructure needs facing wildlife and conservation stewardship in the State.

  • To support efforts to conserve, restore, and maintain habitats that will sustain healthy populations of fish and wildlife species in Arkansas and ensure the sustainability of Arkansas’ fish and wildlife populations.

  • To support efforts to secure a diverse, stable, and sustainable funding to meet the Agency’s mission today and into the future. Critical to this goal is to secure The Conservation Sales Fund will be stable and sustainable at 45% of ⅛ of 1 cent from Amendment 75, into the future.

  • To support efforts to recruit and retains a diverse, well-trained, and professional workforce in an inclusive, collaborative, and supportive working environment.

  • To support activities with the Governor’s Office, the General Assembly, the Arkansas Congressional delegation, and other state agencies and authorities in the development and adoption of legislation, funding, and implementation and enforcement of law.

  • To provide leadership in representing the Agency and State in discussions, negotiations, and partnerships with federal, regional, and conservation organizations.

Professional Qualifications and Personal Attributes:

The Director should ideally possess the following professional qualifications and personal attributes:

Professional Qualifications:

  • Demonstrated leadership experience in the management and operation of a public regulatory or conservation agency, or similar organization at the State or Federal level.

  • Leadership experience in the administration of conservation or natural resources programs or services at the highest levels of responsibility (such as positions of Division Chief, Assistant / Deputy Director, Agency Director, or organizational equivalent).

  • Experience recruiting, directing, motivating, and developing staff while building a nimble yet effective infrastructure to support a dynamic State-wide agency.

  • Ability to listen to others and learn from their best ideas, demonstrating intellectual curiosity, approachability, and openness to input from all levels of staff.

  • Superb organizational and interpersonal skills combined with an ability to diplomatically prioritize sometimes conflicting demands.

  • Bachelor’s or advanced degree preferred in a field related to natural or environmental sciences or in public or business administration, or in another field instrumental to the operation of a conservation or public natural resource organization.

  • Strong work ethic and willingness to travel extensively, often for weekend and evening meetings.

Personal Attributes:

  • Demonstrated conservation ethic and a passionate commitment to the values and mission of AGFC and a demonstrated conservation ethic.

  • Ability to inspire trust and provide leadership in building cross departmental teams and lead groups in problem-solving activities.

  • Ability to think strategically, tactically, and creatively.

  • Ability to communicate effectively both orally and in writing and convey complex thoughts and processes clearly and concisely.


Compensation for the Director includes a competitive base salary, and a package of health and other employee benefits.

How to apply

Interested candidates should submit a resume and cover letter responding specifically to the experience and qualifications being sought to: Daniel Sherman, President, Explore Company, resumes@explorecompany.com.  Refer to AGFC/Director in the subject line. No phone inquiries please.

The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission is an equal opportunity employer and invites individuals who bring a diversity of culture, experience, and ideas to apply. The Commission intends to treat all applications as confidential to the full extent permitted by Arkansas law. Applications, once filed, may be subject to disclosure as a public record under the Arkansas Freedom of Information Act.


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