FWC Commissioners name head of law enforcement as new Executive Director

roger young fwc
The Senate has the final say and will vote on Col. Roger Young’s confirmation.

A bit lost amid the passionate discussions of invasive species and Florida reptiles in Miami this week was the vote and announcement that the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) approved its new Executive Director, Col. Roger Young, who moves over from FWC Law Enforcement.

“As I worked around, I felt that we were at a crossroad where we had to find a different kind of leadership for the agency,” FWC Chair Rodney Barreto said. “I played a hand, a big hand, in Ken Haddad becoming Executive Director, Nick Wylie becoming Executive Director, and actually with Eric Sutton as well.”

Assistant Executive Director Thomas Eason served as Acting Director since the beginning of the year, when former Executive Director Sutton left the post.

Barreto said he was fighting off suggestions of bringing on someone from outside the agency. He believes the agency isn’t broken and doesn’t need someone to come in and turn FWC on its head. After reflection, he felt Young was the best person for the job.

“We’ve got a really strong bench of leaders in this Department right now,” Commissioner Gary Lester said. “We have a number of people in our Department who could do an excellent job. I want to second that nomination for Col. Young. I think he’ll be a fantastic leader for the agency.”

Young spent his career up to this point in wildlife law enforcement, first joining the Florida Marine Patrol after graduating from Florida State with a degree in social science with an emphasis in environmental studies.

He worked 24 years in the Southwest Region, including six as Regional Commander, before moving up to Colonel of FWC Law Enforcement in June 2021.

“I’m humbled and honored beyond belief,” Young said. “I’ve been passionate about public service and conservation in the state of Florida my entire life. The thought of leading this agency from the front as Executive Director is a privilege that I can’t even express in words.”

The Senate has the final say and will vote on Young’s confirmation.

Wes Wolfe

Wes Wolfe is a reporter who's worked for newspapers across the South, winning press association awards for his work in Georgia and the Carolinas. He lives in Jacksonville and previously covered state politics, environmental issues and courts for the News-Leader in Fernandina Beach. You can reach Wes at [email protected] and @WesWolfeFP. Facebook: facebook.com/wes.wolfe


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