After almost 20 years of leading the Arizona Game and Fish Department, Director Duane Shroufe has announced his retirement for the end of March 2008.
Shroufe, who is the second-longest-tenured state wildlife director in the United States, asked the Arizona Game and Fish Commission on Dec. 8 to approve the end of his contract for the closing days of March rather than the previous closing date in January of 2009. The commission reluctantly but unanimously agreed.
The Game and Fish Commission immediately began a nationwide search for Shroufe’s replacement. “We hope we will attract the very best candidate of the wildlife leadership community to lead our state. We intend to set the bar high to meet today’s wildlife and habitat challenges,” said Commission Chairman Mike Golightly of Flagstaff.
The commission is seeking a professional to provide direction and leadership for the Game and Fish Department. This position is appointed by and reports to the Game and Fish Commission. The director is the chief administrative officer of the department and, as such, is responsible for the general supervision and control of all activities, functions and employees of the department. All interested applicants can apply by logging onto www.azstatejobs.gov and looking for Arizona Game and Fish Department job openings. Enter “AGF” into the keyword field.
During Shroufe’s remarkable tenure at the helm of the Arizona Game and Fish Department, the agency has been routinely recognized as one of the top and most innovative wildlife agencies in the nation. It’s an accomplishment that makes Shroufe and others in the agency proud.
It’s been a challenging era of burgeoning growth for the state’s population and quality growth for the department. During Shroufe’s amazing tenure, the agency has grown from 230 personnel to 650 and the budget has increased from $20 million to $80 million.
Shroufe has also been a leader on the national and international wildlife scene. He served two terms as the president of the Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies. He recently served as chairman of the North American Wetlands Conservation Council. Shroufe has also chaired many committees for the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies and has played an instrumental role for many programs, such as Partners in Flight.
Throughout the years, Shroufe has received a host of national and even international wildlife awards. This past spring, he was presented the 2006 Distinguished Service Award from the Wildlife Management Institute. Last year, Shroufe also received the International Canvasback Award from the North American Waterfowl Management Plan Committee.
In addition, Shroufe has received awards from the Western Wildlife Law Enforcement Association, the Boone and Crockett Club, the Foundation for North American Wild Sheep, and the International Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies. The list goes on and on.
Shroufe’s 23 years with the department caps a 40-year career in wildlife management. The Michigan-born Shroufe began his career with the Indiana Department of Natural Resources before coming to the Arizona Game and Fish Department in 1984 as an assistant director. He was appointed as the department’s director in 1989.
Highlights of Shroufe’s accomplishments include:
- Establishment of the state-based Heritage Fund in 1990 to support projects to enhance and protect wildlife and habitats.
- Chairmanship of the North American Wetlands Conservation Council.
- Critical leadership in the development and evolution of the Teaming with Wildlife Initiative on the national scene.
- Advancement of state-based collaborative initiatives to aid in the recovery of endangered species.
- Creation of partnerships with wildlife concerns in Mexico, including development of the first international and all-bird joint venture.
- Consistent leadership to improve customer service and wildlife conservation policies, programs and practices at the agency level.
- Leading a successful effort to create a new department headquarters complex on the commissioned-owned grounds of the Ben Avery Shooting Facility on the northern outskirts of Phoenix.
- Implementation of an agency-wide management approach that follows the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Program model to enhance productivity, increase efficiency and improve customer service.