U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Acting Director Rowan Gould announced the selection of Teiko Saito as the Service’s assistant director for International Affairs.
Saito, a 30-year career Service employee, will direct the agency’s international wildlife conservation programs, including oversight of international treaties and agreements governing trade in protected species, as well as multiple programs designed to work with nations across the planet to help protect, enhance and restore some of the world’s most unique wildlife and ecosystems.
“We share hundreds of species of wildlife with countries across the world, and all of us have a stake in ensuring that the world’s wildlife resources are managed wisely for the benefit of current and future generations. Teiko Saito has proven over the course of her career to be an outstanding advocate for international conservation, and we are fortunate to have her leading our efforts in this arena,” said Gould.
Saito has advocated global conservation at every opportunity and worked actively to expand the Service’s international partnerships both at home and abroad. Her leadership on Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) issues, including overseeing the preparations for the CITES International conference held last month in Doha Qatar, has drawn praise from the international community.
Since joining the Service in1980, Saito has acquired a great diversity of experience across several Service programs including the Director’s Office, Refuges, Endangered Species, External Affairs, Human Resources, and International Affairs. She served as special assistant to the Assistant Director for International Affairs from 2001 to 2006. After serving as acting assistant director beginning in February 2006, Saito was selected as Deputy Assistant Director for International Affairs in July 2006. Prior to 2001, she was chief of the Division of Management Authority within the International Affairs Program.
She also worked in the Interior Department’s Office of the Secretary as special assistant in the Office for Equal Opportunity and as chief of complaints processing in the Department’s National Business Center.
“Teiko Saito brings a wealth of experience to this crucial position, and her leadership will be an invaluable asset as the Service continues building international partnerships and capacities to deal with great challenges like global climate change” said, Dan Ashe, FWS deputy director. “We are very fortunate to have her in this position, at this critical juncture.”
Saito graduated from Northwestern University with a Master’s degree in Education and holds a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Puget Sound.