Dr. David Yoskowitz Named Executive Director of Texas Parks and Wildlife Department

Dr. David Yoskowitz was named the executive director of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) today at a special public meeting of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission.

“This is bittersweet news for the Island University, as Dr. Yoskowitz has been an integral part of a highly successful and dedicated team at the Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies (HRI),” said Dr. Kelly M. Miller, President & CEO of Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi (TAMU-CC). “At the same, this is an amazing opportunity for him, and his appointment to such a prestigious role brings a great deal of pride to our campus. We appreciate his service and look forward to a continued relationship with him in his new role.”

Yoskowitz goes to TPWD following a lengthy career at TAMU-CC and HRI, where he was named Executive Director in July of 2020. Yoskowitz previously served as HRI’s Associate Director for Research, Policy, and Development, and was chosen as one of the institute’s founding chairs as HRI’s Endowed Chair for Socio-Economics.

“It’s such an honor to join the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and to have the privilege to work alongside the talented women and men throughout the agency that dedicate themselves to conserving the natural and cultural resources, and the outdoor legacies, that make Texas such a special place,” Yoskowitz said. “As a lifelong outdoorsman, a father, and someone who has spent the last several years of my career working toward creating a better future for the Gulf of Mexico, the TPWD mission is near and dear to my heart. I am incredibly grateful for the work that I’ve done for the last 16 years at the Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies and at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, and that work has really been about developing the science, as well as some of the solutions, that help support TPWD’s mission and philosophy. I’m so excited to now be a part of the implementation of that science for present and future generations of Texans.”

Yoskowitz will take the critical conservation research done by HRI and work to implement it with TPWD, taking this important work statewide.

“I am grateful for everything Dr. Yoskowitz has done for the university and wish him the very best with TPWD,” said Dr. Ahmed Mahdy, Executive Vice President for Research & Innovation at TAMU-CC. “As we bid farewell to David, I’d like to reinforce TAMU-CC’s commitment to the sustainability and conservation of a healthy Gulf of Mexico through interdisciplinary research.”

Dr. Greg Stunz, Endowed Chair for Fisheries and Ocean Health and Center for Sportfish Science and Conservation Director, will serve as interim senior executive director for HRI as it continues to serve its mission.

“I look forward to working with Dr. Greg Stunz and to furthering HRI’s internal and external collaborations,” said Dr. Mahdy on the interim appointment. “We appreciate Dr. Stunz’s willingness to take on this role and trust in his ability to lead HRI and advance its initiatives seamlessly.”

Carter Smith, TPWD’s current executive director, announced his retirement in June after almost 15 years of leading the department. Smith’s retirement will be effective in January 2023. Yoskowitz will be working closely with Smith, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission, and other TPWD executive staff on transitioning into the role in the coming months.