The Pennsylvania Game Commission has appointed Richard R. Palmer as its new deputy executive director for field operations. Palmer had previously served as the agency’s the director of the Bureau of Wildlife Protection.
Palmer has worked for the Game Commission since 1991, joining as an undercover officer in the agency’s special-investigations unit, then serving as a wildlife conservation officer in Huntingdon and Perry counties.
He subsequently held positions as law-enforcement training supervisor, chief of the Bureau of Wildlife Protection’s research and development division, and training director, prior to becoming director of the Bureau of Wildlife Protection in 2007.
Palmer was slated to begin in his new role on June 7.
The position of deputy executive director for field operations became vacant earlier this year, when R. Matthew Hough was promoted to executive director.
“Rich’s knowledge of the Game Commission’s field operations is second to none,” Hough said. “His years of hands-on experience and his strong work ethic make him a perfect fit for this position, and I very much look forward to working alongside him in the executive office.”
Palmer, too, said he looks forward to the experience.
“I am humbled and honored to be entrusted with the opportunity to serve the Commonwealth’s citizens and wildlife in this capacity, the agency has a 119-year history of amazing wildlife success stories, and our employees continue that tradition today through their dedicated work and I am proud to be part of that team,” Palmer said.
Among other duties, the deputy executive director for field operations coordinates the resources of the Game Commission’s six regions and monitors regional budget requests to ensure the maximum use of approved expenditures. The deputy executive director for field operations also supervises the Ross Leffler School of Conservation, which provides essential training to the wildlife conservation officers and deputies who protect Pennsylvania’s wildlife.
Palmer previously served as director of training.
Palmer’s educational background includes an associate degree in criminal justice and certificate in training and development, as well as numerous instructor certifications in various law enforcement and wildlife subjects. Prior to joining the Game Commission, he served on active duty in the U.S. Air Force as a military police officer and canine handler from 1984 to 1991 in stateside and overseas assignments.
He is a member of National Conservation Law Enforcement Chiefs association and has served as the vice-president of the Northeast Conservation Law Enforcement Chiefs Association, the Isaac Walton League of America Red Rose Chapter, The Ruffed Grouse Society, Woodcock Limited of PA, The Mid Atlantic hunting spaniel club, and is a former committee chairman of Ducks Unlimited.