David Yoskowitz Named TPWD Executive Director

Dr. David Yoskowitz was named executive director of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department at a special meeting of the TPW Committee in Austin, Texas.Courtesy image for illustrative purposes
Dr. David Yoskowitz was named executive director of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department at a special meeting of the TPW Committee in Austin, Texas.Courtesy image for illustrative purposes
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Texas Border Business

Austin, Texas – David Yoskowitz, Ph.D., was named executive director of the Texas Department of Parks and Wildlife at a special meeting of the TPW Committee in Austin, Texas. Yoskowitz is currently Senior Executive Director and Chair of the Socioeconomic Foundation at Texas A&M University Corpus Christi’s Hart Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies.

Commissioners acted in open meeting to accept the recommendations of the selection committee. The selection committee includes TPW Committee Chair Arch Aplin, and members Anna Galo, Jeffery Hildebrand and Oliver Bell.

“As an avid outdoor enthusiast, David is on a mission for TPWD,” said Arch “Beaver” Aplin III Chairman. His business and economic acumen in our cultural and natural resources areas will be a great fit for TPWD. David will continue to maintain a culture of inclusion with the institution’s stakeholders and staff. Having worked at Hart College in Corpus Christi for 16 years has been a great training ground for David to become our new Executive Director. Carter Smith will be sorely missed, but I am more than happy to pass the baton to David Joskovitz. “

At Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, Yoskowitz has held many positions, including Professor of Environmental Economics, Associate Director of Research, Policy and Development, Endowment Chair in Socioeconomics, and, since 2020, Gulf of Mexico Research Habitat Senior Executive Director of the Special Institute (Institute of Human Resources). His experience as an economist and his interest in key environmental and natural resource issues has paved the way for collaboration with natural science colleagues to study the links between the environment and human well-being, with a particular focus on resilience in the Gulf of Mexico. While at Corpus Christi, Yoskowitz and HRI’s team of scientists and researchers worked to develop science-based solutions to pressing fisheries, watershed, coastal and ocean challenges.

“It is an honor to join the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and to work with the talented men and women across the institution who are committed to preserving the natural and cultural resources and outdoor heritage that make Texas such a special place to be about “As a lifelong outdoorsman, father, and someone who spent the last few years of my career working to create a better future for the Gulf of Mexico, TPWD’s mission is very important to me,” said Scowitz. I’m so grateful for the work I’ve done at the Hart Institute for Gulf Research and Texas A&M University Corpus Christi over the past 16 years, this work is really about developmental science, and some of these solutions help Support TPWD’s mission and philosophy. I am excited to now be involved in implementing this science for current and future generations of Texans. “

Yoskowitz’s passion for pursuing a connection with the natural environment dates back to his youth battling bushfires and gaining an appreciation for the connection between people and nature. Yoskowitz spent most of his career as a leader at the Texas A&M Corpus Christi campus, where his research extended his reach across much of North and Central America, including Cuba, Nicaragua, Belize , El Salvador and Mexico.

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“This is mixed news for the University of the Islands, as Dr. Yoskowitz has been an integral part of a very successful and dedicated team at the Hart Gulf Research Institute (HRI).” Kelly M. Miller, Dirk President and CEO of Saas A&M University-Corpus Christi (TAMU-CC). “At the same time, this is an amazing opportunity for him, and his appointment to such a prestigious role brings great pride to our campus. We thank him for his service and look forward to his new role continue to maintain a relationship with him.”

Yoskowitz was chief economist at NOAA (2014-2015), where he helped develop the agency’s first social science vision and strategy. He also served on the National Research Council Committee on the Impact of the Mississippi Canyon Deepwater Horizon 252 Oil Spill on Ecosystem Services in the Gulf of Mexico. He was a member of the Socioeconomic Sciences and Statistics Committee of the Gulf Fisheries Management Council. He serves on the Board of Directors of Indifly, an organization that uses recreational fishing to create sustainable livelihoods for indigenous peoples around the world.

Yoskowitz received his Ph.D. BA and MA in Economics from Texas Tech University, and BA in Economics and Finance from Bentley College.

Carter Smith, TPWD’s current executive director, announced his retirement in June after nearly 15 years leading the division. Smith’s retirement will take effect in January 2023. Joskovitz will work closely with Smith, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission and other TPWD executives to transition to the position in the coming months.

Statement from Senator Hinojosa on the naming of Dr. David Yoskowitz as the new executive director of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department

Senator Juan ‘Chuy’ Hinojosa

Austin, Texas — Today, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission unanimously named Dr. David Yoskowitz of Corpus Christi as the new executive for the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department director. PhD. Yoskowitz will succeed Carter Smith, who announced in June that he will retire in January 2023 after 15 years as executive director.

PhD. Yoskowitz has served as Senior Executive Director of the Hart Gulf of Mexico Research Institute (HRI) at Texas A&M University Corpus Christi since July 2020. He has spent most of his career at the A&M Corpus Christi campus, holding faculty and administrative positions for the past 20 years.

With an annual budget of $400 million, the Texas Department of Parks and Wildlife employs more than 3,000 people in 199 regional offices, state parks, wildlife management areas, fish hatcheries and other facilities across the state. The agency’s mission is to “manage and protect Texas’ natural and cultural resources and provide hunting, fishing, and outdoor recreation opportunities for use and enjoyment by present and future generations.”

Senator Hinojosa issued the following statement regarding the naming of Dr. Yoskowitz as new executive director:

“Congratulations to Dr. David Yoskowitz on his appointment as the new Executive Director of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. As a Texan, Dr. Yoskowitz knows and understands the importance of the agency’s function to Texans. As a Texan A resident and director of the Hart Institute, he has played a key role and is committed to researching and developing policies that balance the economic and environmental health of the Gulf of Mexico. I have no doubt that, given his graduate degree in economics, he is at the Hart Institute Decades of service, and his passion for conservation and education, Dr. David Yoskowitz will provide excellent service to all Texans. I wish him every success and look forward to working with him during the upcoming legislative session.

I would also like to thank Carter Smith for his leadership and service to Texas. He is the Outstanding Executive Director of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. His legacy includes acquiring new public lands, successfully administering and administering legislature-approved grant funds for many community parks across the state, launching initiatives and programs for children and families to engage in the outdoors, and protecting our natural resources for future generations of fishermen, hunters , enjoy with our family. I wish him a healthy and happy retirement. ”

Senator Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa proudly represents Nueces, Jim Wells, Brooks and Hidalgo counties (in part). Senator Hinojosa currently serves as Vice Chair of the Senate Finance Committee, Senate Jurisprudence Committee, and Senate Redistricting Committee and serves on the Senate Committee on Border Security; Criminal Justice; Natural Resources and Economic Development; and Select Committees on Transportation and the Protection of All Texans.

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