Executive Director - Carter Smith
Carter Smith serves as the executive director of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD), a position he has held since January 2008.
A native of Austin, Smith developed his passion for wildlife and the out of doors at a young age while roaming his family’s farm and ranch land interests in Gonzales, Williamson, and Edwards Counties. He has a wildlife management degree from Texas Tech and a master’s degree in conservation biology from Yale University. He began his professional career in 1992 as a management intern at TPWD, assisting in the Private Lands and Public Hunting programs. As a biologist, he has worked on a variety of research projects ranging from studying moose in the boreal forests of Saskatchewan to mule deer and pronghorn antelope in far west Texas to waterfowl in the Laguna Madre of Texas and Tamaulipas, Mexico.
He serves on a number of conservation-related boards of directors and advisory councils and was recently named an outstanding alumnus by Texas Tech and the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources. He currently serves as Vice-Chair of the Southeastern Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies, Chairman of the Teaming With Wildlife Committee of The Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies, and serves on the Association’s Executive Committee.
Prior to his selection as TPWD executive director, Smith was with The Nature Conservancy of Texas, serving as state director, where he led a team that protected nearly 250,000 acres while he was director.
At Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, he is responsible for overseeing an agency of 3,100 professionals in 11 different divisions, including Wildlife, Law Enforcement, State Parks, Coastal Fisheries, and Inland Fisheries. Smith has been particularly active in the realms of private lands stewardship, children in nature initiatives, acquisition of new park land, invasive species issues, and expanded outreach to the state’s urban populace.
Carter and his wife, Stacy, reside in Austin.