Deputy Director of Operations - Fish Program - WMS Band 3 - Permanent - *04564-24 description image

Deputy Director of Operations – Fish Program – WMS Band 3 – Permanent – *04564-24

Salary: $111,000.00 – $137,612.00 Annually
Location: Thurston County – Olympia, WA
Job Type: Full Time – Permanent
Job Number: 2024-04564
Department: Dept. of Fish and Wildlife
Opening Date: 04/11/2024
Closing Date: 05/08/2024 11:59 PM Pacific
Category: Administration / Environmental Services / Planning and Development / Recreation / Management / Executive Management / Natural Resources / Program Management

Olympia, Washington – Thurston County 

This recruitment will be posted until May 8th, 2024 – first review of applications will take place on April 25th, 2024, submit your application materials as soon as possible. This recruitment may be closed at any time.

Are you committed to preserving and managing Washington State’s precious fish resources? We are seeking a dynamic individual to lead the operational functions of our Fish Program, ensuring the effective implementation of federal and state statutes, court orders, and policies set forth by the Fish and Wildlife Commission.

As the Fish Program Deputy Director of Operations, you’ll be at the forefront of managing Washington State’s fisheries, collaborating with diverse stakeholders across international, federal, tribal, and state jurisdictions. With the fishing industry serving as a cornerstone of our economy, contributing over $2.5 billion annually and supporting 28,000 jobs, your role will be instrumental in ensuring the sustainability of salmon, steelhead, and shellfish resources.

Join our team as the Fish Program Deputy Director of Operations, where you’ll play a pivotal role in spearheading our efforts to ensure our staff are equipped with the necessary training and resources to execute their tasks safely and efficiently.




A trout swimming in the clear water's of Lake Watson.  Rocks fill the bottom of the lake and some small rock pebbles are colorful - reds, pinks, oranges, yellows.  Trout is small in the image.

Lake Watson Trout – Credit: Alan Bauer

Key job responsibilities as our Deputy Director of Operations,

  • As delegated by the Agency Director or Program Director supports the agency in international, national, tribal, and other management forums and stakeholder groups.
  • Direct operational functions in budget, personnel, facilities, staff and external communications, outreach strategies, legislative affairs, regulations, and contracts.
  • As delegated by the Agency Director or Program Director collaborates with communities, organizations, and stakeholders to develop and implement strategic initiatives to advance the conservation and management of the fish resources of Washington State.
  • Plan and direct the work performed by the Fish Program ensuring optimal and appropriate use of resources.
  • Effectively facilitate and resolve cross-regional or cross-division operational issues within the Fish Program.
  • Represent the Program Director at Management Team meetings, on management and legislative committees, and at other functions as assigned in his/her absence.
  • Work in close coordination with all agency programs and Regional Directors to ensure effective implementation of agency initiatives and priorities.
  • Lead Fish Program efforts to implement agency Safety priorities and programs.
  • Implements consistent Human Resources practices for the Fish Program.
  • Represents the Fish Program in Labor Relations negotiations and implementation of Collective Bargaining Agreements.



  • Work Setting, including hazards: 
    1. Working environment is a busy office setting.  Varying degrees of activity occur in the common areas during working hours; most tasks will involve sitting at a desk and working on a computer.  Incumbent must be able to work amid distraction.
  • Schedule: 
    1. As an overtime exempt employee, the incumbent is expected to be available to work as needed beyond normal work hours, (8am-5pm) including evenings, weekends, and holidays.
  • Travel Requirements:   
    1. Position requires some travel within the Olympia area and occasional out-of-state and overnight travel is needed to attend or participate in various forums and functions.
  • Customer Relations: 
    1. Requires frequent contact with stakeholders, WDFW employees and external contact with other agencies, members of the public, etc.  Responsible for legislative, contentious issue resolution and leaders of major stakeholder interaction.





Ten (10) years of progressive management experience.


Two (2) years of the ten (10) at a Division Management level or equivalent.


  • Managing large diverse budgets.
  • Managing large diverse professional staff. 
  • Performance-based management experience.
Please note: Years of college education may substitute year for year for experience.

Proven leadership skills of:

  • Self-awareness, self-management, and continual growth and learning.  Interpersonal awareness and ability to be inclusive.
  • Effectively build teams and partnerships for shared resources, functions, and problem solving.  Engage, energize, and motivate staff through effective management relationships.
  • Integrate performance leadership into program activities, providing coaching, and mentoring for improved success.

Knowledge & Skills:

  • Strategic and tactical planning.
  • Strong budget and project management skills.
  • Principles of Management including staff supervision, leadership, organizational development, conflict resolution, personnel and merit system rules and regulation, policy development and implementation.


In addition to those required qualifications, our ideal applicant will also have some or all of the following: 

Education and Experience in:

  • Natural Resource Management – Expertise and Personal Interest in Natural Resource Management is desired.
  • Business Administration.
  • Public Administration.
  • Similarly Related Fields. 

Experience with: 

  • Washington State Government Systems, Processes, and Policies Government-to-Government Relationship in Washington State with Treaty Tribes.
  • Working and Collaborating with Stakeholders, Communities, and Other Government Entities.
  • Working and Collaborating with Unions.
  • Experience with Washington State government systems, processes, and policies.
  • Expertise and personal interest in natural resource management.
  • Understanding and experience with the government-to-government relationship in Washington State with treaty tribes.  
  • Experience working and collaborating with stakeholders, communities, and other government entities.
  • Experience working and collaborating with unions.


Supplemental Information


Please note: Failure to follow the instructions below may lead to disqualification. 


Experience and education selected, listed, and detailed in the Supplemental Questions must be verifiable in the application.


To successfully apply for this position, you MUST complete your profile at and attach the following to your profile before completing the online application:

  • A cover letter describing how you meet the qualifications of this position (Generic cover letter will not be accepted).
  • A current resume. 
  • Three professional references. 


All new employees must complete an Employment Eligibility Verification Form (I-9 Form) on their first day of work. If hired for this or any position at WDFW, you will be required to provide documentation proving you are eligible to work in the United States. For a list of acceptable documents, please use the following link:


Learn about our agency and the perks of working for WDFW!

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife has some of the most talented people in the natural resource field.  We celebrate and value diversity, appreciating that a workforce composed of those from different backgrounds and experiences creates an inclusive environment, strengthens positive relationships with the local community, and brings new perspectives and approaches to fulfilling the agency’s mission. We value demonstrated skill in living WDFW values of Accountability, Service, Professionalism, Integrity, Respect, and Empathy (ASPIRE).

WDFW employees may be eligible for the following: Benefits

Medical/Dental/Vision for employee & dependent(s), Public Employees Retirement System (PERS), Vacation, Sick, and other Leave types. 

Eleven (11) Paid Holidays per year and one (1) personal holiday if the employee is scheduled to be, or has been, continuously employed by the State of Washington for at least four (4) months. 

Public Service Loan Forgiveness, Tuition Waiver, Long Term Disability & Life Insurance, Deferred Compensation Programs, Dependent Care Assistance Program (DCAP), Flexible Spending Arrangement (FSA),  and an Employee Assistance Program.

 Deputy Director of Operations - Fish Program - WMS Band 3 - Permanent - *04564-24 description image

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Employer


To take advantage of veteran preference, please do the following:

  • Email a copy of your DD214 (Member 4 copy), NGB 22 or USDVA signed verification of service letter to
  • Subject line must include recruitment number, position, and Vet (for example: #10155 Biologist 1 – Veteran)
  • Include your name as it appears on your application in



To take advantage of military spouse preference, please do the following:

  • Notify us of your military spouse status by email at  
  • Subject line must include recruitment number, position, and MS (for example: #10155 Biologist 1 – MS)
  • Include your name as it appears on your application in


Note: Please blackout any PII (personally identifiable information) data such as social security numbers. 


As part of WDFW’s efforts to advance respectful and inclusive work environments, the Agency expects inclusivity as part of our professional interactions and communications.   Therefore, we want to ensure that all individuals feel welcome, are treated fairly and respectfully.  All staff are empowered to fully contribute to serving their work unit, Agency, and the citizens of Washington.Deputy Director of Operations - Fish Program - WMS Band 3 - Permanent - *04564-24 description image

The Department of Fish and Wildlife is an equal opportunity employer.  We strive to create a working environment that includes and respects cultural, racial, ethnic, sexual orientation and gender identity diversity.   Women, racial and ethnic minorities, persons of disability, persons over 40 years of age, disabled and Vietnam era veterans and people of all sexual orientations and gender identities are encouraged to apply.  

Persons needing accommodation in the application process or this announcement in an alternative format please contact Jayme Chase by phone 360-902-2278 or email, or the Telecommunications Device for the Deaf (TDD) at 800-833-6388.

If you are having technical difficulties creating, accessing, or completing your application, please call NEOGOV toll-free at (855) 524-5627 or

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