David Viker will lead more than 750 employees on 130 national wildlife refuges in 10 states, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
He has served since 2005 as chief of the Southeast's Division of Migratory Birds. In that role, he helped coordinate the Service's response to preserving wildlife threatened by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill
"Like so many people and organizations, tough budget years are in the near-term forecast for us," Viker said. "An unparalleled conservation mission and exceptional staff will see us through as we work with a strong and diverse conservation community rallying together like never before to accomplish our most important conservation goals."
An 18-year veteran of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Viker studied wildlife ecology at the University of Florida while volunteering at Lower Suwannee National Wildlife Refuge.
After graduation, he worked at 10 national wildlife refuges. He moved from the field to the Southeast Regional Office in Atlanta in 2002 to serve as a Deputy Refuge Supervisor.
Viker has served as an expert consultant on many migratory bird-related programs and other issues and helped start Landscape Conservation Cooperatives.
"As a young boy, I was the self-appointed steward of the woods, creeks, ponds, and trails behind my home," Viker said. "Within one hour of stepping foot on Lower Suwannee National Wildlife Refuge as a teenager, I knew what specific job I wanted to serve in for the rest of my life."
He and his wife, Mary, have two children. Viker has coached more than 30 youth baseball, basketball, softball and soccer teams. He and his family also enjoy hunting, fishing, camping and water recreation.