USF&W Appoints Assistant Director for External Affairs

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director Dan Ashe today announced the appointment of Betsy Hildebrandt as the agency’s new Assistant Director for External Affairs. Hildebrandt, a communications professional with more than 20 years’ experience in the public and private sectors, has been the agency’s chief of staff since January of 2011 and previously served in the Department’s communications office.

In her new capacity, Hildebrandt will provide strategic program direction and develop policy and guidance to strengthen and expand the Service’s relations with the public, Congress, Native American Tribes, the media and conservation partners. She will assist the Director on communications concerning key policy issues, facilitate communication between the Department of the Interior and the Service, and provide support and advice to Service leadership at the national, regional and field levels.

“During the last several years, Betsy has been an invaluable part of our leadership team and now will bring a wealth of ideas and expertise to our communications efforts. The Service cannot accomplish its conservation mission without the strong support and involvement of Congress, the media, the public and our partners, so I’m excited to have Betsy guiding this vital component of our work,” said Ashe.

Hildebrandt will oversee the Service’s External Affairs program, which is responsible for congressional, media and partner relations and communications planning, implementation and evaluation. External Affairs encompasses the Divisions of Communications, Congressional and Legislative Affairs and Program and Partnership Support, as well as the Native American liaison program. Hildebrandt will officially assume her new position on November 17.

Prior to joining the Service, Hildebrandt served as a senior policy advisor to then-Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar beginning in August 2010. She first joined the Department of the Interior as director of communications in February 2009, serving in that capacity until she assumed the senior policy advisor post.

Hildebrandt previously served as senior manager for technology marketing and communication at Accenture, where she was the marketing lead for a multimillion-dollar business line. She also worked as a senior account executive at Greer, Margolis Mitchell Burns, as a producer at Fenn and King Communications, and as a legislative assistant to Rep. Les AuCoin (D-Ore.).

She has earned a B.A. from Dartmouth College and has completed coursework at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

Hildebrandt lives in Washington, D.C. with her husband and two children. She is an active outdoor enthusiast, and enjoys fishing, boating, and hiking.

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