Support VSSA Advertisers

Thursday, February 7, 2008

New DGIF Executive Director Named

On February 6th, the Board of the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (DGIF) announced that Bob Duncan, a 30 year veteran of the Department and current Director of the Wildlife Division, will serve as Director of the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries. VSSA wishes him well.

After a nationwide search, the group decided to hire from within, promoting Duncan a little more than two months after firing former director J. Carlton Courter III.

Duncan has been an avid hunter since his childhood in Radford. He inherits challenges the Board decided Courter was unable to meet. Among them are improving the department's ability to communicate -- both internally and with the public -- and examining the department's organizational structure.

For this agency and the constituencies it works with, external communications are almost more important than internal. The Department has been hit with criticism recently about the way it has handled the study on hunting with dogs.

Board Chariman Jimmy Hazel said Duncan will be more of a public face for the department.

Hazel said, "We wanted someone who would be accepted by the hunting and fishing crowd in Virginia. You'll see him out there across the state [talking to groups.]"

The second priority is to develop a new strategic plan, something the department hasn't done in more than 15 years. An outside consultant will help with the process.

Duncan is taking over an agency that has lacked stability at the top since 2005. Director William L. Woodfin Jr. stepped down in May of that year in the wake of a state internal auditor's report that concluded he and two other officials had shown inappropriate conduct, including spending $11,500 in state funds on a personal hunting trip to Africa in 2004.

Woodfin, along with Col. Terry C. Bradbery, former head of the law-enforcement division, and Maj. Michael G. Caison, former head of special law enforcement, were indicted in September. The grand jury indictment alleges misuse of government credit cards to make purchases for the private trip.

No comments: