Administration - Executive Office

The executive director serves as the agency's chief executive officer and is accountable to the commission for the overall operation of the department and acts as liaison between the commission and the staff in accordance with established policies. He coordinates the development of agency strategy and policy, supervises senior agency management and serves as the senior decision authority. The executive director acts as official representative of the department with the public and has responsibility to ensure compliance with all commission policies and state and federal laws and regulations concerning the department. Is responsible for preparing the budget requirements for the commission to submit to the legislature and for budgetary administration of all appropriations to the department including federal funds.


The executive director has management and oversight of a very diverse agency consisting of eleven divisions with a wide variety of programs, facilities and services. Executive staff coordinates all activities related to the commission, legislature, and foundation. This office includes both internal audit and internal investigation functions. Executive office staff receives and coordinates all incoming correspondence and most public contact.

Carter Smith, Executive Director
Texas Parks and Wildlife Department
4200 Smith School Road
Austin, TX 78744
Telephone No.: 512/389-4802
Fax: 512/389-4814


Executive Officers

The executive office acts as the liaison between the Commission and Departmental staff in accordance with established policies and is responsible for the overall operation of the Department.

Deputy Executive Director of Operations: Vacant – 512-389-8575 Deputy Executive Director of Policy & Administration: Dawn Heikkila – 512-389-4727

Deputy Executive Director of Natural Resources: Ross Melinchuk – 512-389-4868

Executive Office Staff


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