Eric Sutton, assistant executive director of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), will move up to executive director of the agency, effective Friday.
The commission announced the move Thursday. Nick Wiley, the current executive director, retires later this month.
In a press release, commissioners touted Sutton’s extensive experience with challenging conservation issues and his positive relationships with fellow FWC staff.
“We have received many accolades for the agency under the leadership of Chairman Brian Yablonski and Executive Director Wiley,” Commissioner Bo Rivard said. “They have been at the tip of the spear, but it’s the whole family who supports the conservation efforts.
“As we continue to face changes and new challenges, it is important to have continuity,” he added. “Eric has been filling roles lately due to Nick’s national leadership positions and has proven himself capable of this important role.”
Sutton has been assistant executive director since May 2013.
“He has worked in government and the private sector since the early 1990s in areas including acquisition and management of public lands, land use regulations, listed species policy, invasive species management and coastal management,” according to the release.
“He received both his bachelor’s and master’s degree in zoology from the University of South Florida. The emphasis of his work was on endangered species population biology.”
“Eric does a great job,” Commissioner Robert Spottswood said. “I see that he’s got the confidence of his FWC family members, and how dedicated and concerned he is about the agency and people of Florida.”
Added Sutton: “As a sportsman and ecologist, it is a tremendous honor to be able to accept this challenge and represent such a talented and dedicated team managing the tremendous fish and wildlife resources of Florida.”
His appointment will now go to the Florida Senate for confirmation.