Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) Secretary Rebecca Tepper announced the appointment of Tom O’Shea to the role of Commissioner of the Department of Fish and Game (DFG). DFG works to preserve the state’s natural resources and protect and manage marine and freshwater fisheries, wildlife, plants, and the habitats that support them. O’Shea starts on May 1.
“DFG plays a unique and important role in merging nature and culture. With Tom O’Shea at the helm, Massachusetts will be better positioned to prepare for, recover from, and adapt to climate change while bolstering our habitat resilience,” said EEA Secretary Rebecca Tepper.“His experience will be critical in helping the Healey-Driscoll Administration to secure a future with clean air, healthy landscapes, wildlife populations, and abundant recreational opportunities.”
“I’m honored and excited to return to DFG and join the Healey-Driscoll Administration as Massachusetts steps up its mitigation strategies and resiliency efforts for the natural resources our residents love most,” said O’Shea. “The Commonwealth is home to countless scenic landscapes. I’m looking forward to this urgent and significant moment for meaningful and proactive action towards climate resilience, access to nature and outdoor recreation, and the conservation of biodiversity and natural habitats.”
O’Shea comes to DFG from The Trustees of Reservations, where he most recently served as Vice President of Conservation and Resilience, leading the conservation and climate agenda. Prior to his role at The Trustees overseeing land conservation, advocacy and policy, agriculture, coastal resilience and ecology, he served as an Assistant Director for DFG’s Division of Fisheries and Wildlife.
O’Shea earned a Master of Public Administration from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government, a Master of Forestry from Yale University’s School of Environment, and an undergraduate degree from the University of Maine. He is an outdoorsman and triathlete who resides in Holden with his wife and son.
“In this era of climate change and biodiversity loss, Tom O’Shea’s leadership has transformed our approach to the core commitment of resource care at The Trustees of Reservations, and his legacy will long endure,” said Trustees of Reservations Interim CEO and President Nicie Panetta. “Over the past 10 years, Tom has created a vision and established technical excellence for long-term ecological and coastal resilience, including Massachusetts’ largest coastal saltmarsh restoration in the Great Marsh. More recently, he has helped us chart the course for our efforts to decarbonize The Trustees and to reimagine our conservation of natural and working lands for climate benefit. We thank Tom sincerely for his profound contributions, and we look forward to seeing the positive impact of his public service to the people of the Commonwealth and to the natural world we cherish.”
“The Department of Fish and Game plays a critical role in protecting the nature of Massachusetts, and Secretary Tepper’s decision to name Tom O’Shea Commissioner will benefit the outdoors and all who rely on it,” said Mass Audubon President David J. O’Neill. “Tom is a biologist, forester, outdoor enthusiast, and innovator whose previous service in state government shaping wildlife and land management policies, combined with his successful tenure at The Trustees that included spotlighting the importance of coastal resiliency, makes him uniquely qualified to take on vital issues ranging from managing and restoring rivers, forests, and marshes to advancing critical climate solutions. Mass Audubon is fortunate to have partnered with Tom in both his previous capacities, and his leadership and expertise helped us become an even stronger conservation organization. Secretary Tepper has once again added top talent to her already experienced team, and we look forward to working with Tom in his crucial new role.”
“Tom O’Shea’s skills as a wildlife professional, his dedication, and his commitment to professional wildlife management are unsurpassed,” said Michael Roche, former Fish and Wildlife Board Member, former Mahar Fish and Game Club President, and outdoor writer. “The sportsmen and women of Massachusetts, along with every resident who appreciates the state’s fish and wildlife resources, will soon see what a difference Tom’s lifetime experience as a wildlife leader, educator, and manager can make. His balance and perspective will elevate the Department and the Division’s work on their common mission to take advantage of the best in current conservation practices.”
Read more about the Department of Fish and Game.