TPWD News Release — June 11, 2007
AUSTIN, Texas — Texas Parks and Wildlife Department Executive Director Robert L. Cook today announced his intention to retire Aug. 31. Cook has been executive director since February 2002 and has spent the majority of his professional career at the agency.
Cook began his career at TPWD in 1965, after graduating from Texas A&M University with a wildlife management degree. He was first stationed in Junction as a wildlife biologist, and in 1972 was promoted to area manager at the Kerr Wildlife Management Area in Hunt. In 1975, Cook was promoted to program leader for the statewide white-tailed deer program and established standardized deer data collection and analysis procedures for the Wildlife Division.
Cook left TPWD in 1979 to work for the Shelton Land and Cattle Company. While there, he served as wildlife biologist and director of ranch operations for six large ranches in Texas and Montana.
In 1990, he returned to TPWD and served as chief of wildlife for more than three years in the combined Fisheries and Wildlife Division. In 1994, he was promoted to director of the Wildlife Division. Cook was then promoted to senior division director for TPWD land policy in 1997 and served as acting division director for the State Parks Division for almost two years. He then became chief operating officer for TPWD until he was named executive director.
“Bob Cook has devoted his entire professional career to conservation, and Texas is better for it,” said TPW Commission Chairman Joseph Fitzsimons. “I have known Bob for more than 20 years, and he has served the agency and the state of Texas well. His contributions to conservation in Texas and his steady leadership during his tenure as executive director have left the agency well-positioned for the future. We wish him the best as he prepares to embark on the next phase of his life.”
According to Chairman Fitzsimons, an executive search committee will begin the process of recruiting the next executive director for TPWD. The search committee will have two principle charges: (1) identify and interview prospective candidates and provide a recommendation to the commission for final approval, and (2) conduct the search in a timely manner to ensure continuity of leadership and minimize disruption of department operations.