Native American Fish and Wildlife Society Announces New Executive Director
Thorstenson to lead and strengthen 37 year-old national Native American non-profit
The Native American Fish and Wildlife Society (NAFWS), a national Native American non-profit that serves as a communication medium for self-determined Native American fish and wildlife managers has hired Julie Thorstenson, PhD, a member of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe as the new executive director.
"Native American Tribes are doing some awesome things in the management of natural resources and I am looking forward to highlighting their success while helping to build strong relationships."— Julie Thorstenson, PhD
Thorstenson will serve as chief administrator under the guidance and direction of the NAFWS board of directors to achieve the organization’s mission to assist Native American and Alaska Native Tribes to conserve, protect, and enhance their fish and wildlife resources.
She joins the NAFWS staff from her professional consultant business in healthcare planning, organizational management, qualitative and quantitative research, wildlife and environmental surveying, grant writing, compliance, and management services. She has six years in health management and administration. She attained a PhD in biological science from South Dakota State University and has been an adjunct professor at Oglala Lakota College. As a wildlife habitat biologist for seven years with the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe in 2000, one of the projects she assisted with was the reintroduction of the Black-footed Ferret doing research and monitoring.
Thorstenson grew up on a cattle ranch which she says “instilled a love for the land and environment” and more importantly, that she is excited to be back in this field of tribal natural resources. She added, “Native American Tribes are doing some awesome things in the management of natural resources and I am looking forward to highlighting their success while helping to build strong relationships.”
The NAFWS uniquely serves as a communication network between tribal, federal, and state fish and wildlife management entities to provide conferences for tribal natural resource managers, youth education, and training for tribal conservation law enforcement officers while partnering with other entities to meet its mission.