In October of 2008, Geoffrey Haskett assumed his duties as the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Alaska Regional Director. Haskett brings a wide range of experience to the job; experience gained both within the Service and without, and both in Alaska and elsewhere in the United States. In his last position, he served in Washington, D.C. as the Assistant Director for the National Wildlife Refuge System. He came to that position from the Service’s Southwest Region, where he was Deputy Regional Director since 1997.
Haskett served as the Assistant Regional Director for Refuges and Wildlife in the Southeast Region from 1994 to 1997. In this capacity, he was responsible for the National Wildlife Refuge System in the 10 Southeastern states, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands, and also served as Geographic Assistant Regional Director for the Region's Southeastern ecosystems.
Before that, Haskett served in the Service's Washington Office from 1988 to 1994, originally as Branch Chief of Operations for the Division of Realty, and ultimately serving for 3 years as the Chief of Realty for the Service, and Secretary to the Department of the Interior's Migratory Bird Commission.
From 1985 to 1988, Haskett worked for the National Park Service in Alaska as a Supervisory Realty Officer, where he served as Deputy for the Alaska Lands Program. From 1980 to 1984, he was responsible for the Bureau of Land Management's Realty Program for 3.5 million acres of public land in the Burns District, high desert country of Oregon. He started work with the Fish and Wildlife Service in 1979 in the Portland Regional Office.
Geoff Haskett currently serves as the Polar Bear Commissioner for the U.S.-Russia Polar Bear Commission, and considers the work of that organization to be a landmark in cooperative wildlife management between governmental and Native representatives of the U.S. and Russia.
Geoffrey Haskett holds a master's degree in public administration (1980), is a graduate of BLM's Oregon/Washington Management Development Program (1985), completed the Federal Executive Institute's Leadership for a Democratic Society (1993), completed the Center for Creative Leadership Development Program (1997), and attended Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government Program for Senior Executive Fellows in 2001. Mr. Haskett was also the recipient of the Secretary of the Interior's Meritorious Service Honor Award in 2003.
LaVerne Smith is currently the Deputy Regional Director for the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s, Alaska Region. LaVerne has served in a management positions in Fisheries, Habitat Conservation, Endangered
Species, and in Science Applications. LaVerne has helped to lead various initiatives in the Service and
with our conservation partners; most recently she served on the Service's National Climate Change
Team, which developed the Service's new Climate Change Strategic Plan, released in September of
2010, and completed a year-long detail starting Region 7's Science Applications Program and launching
the Alaska LCCs.. LaVerne joined the Alaska Region in April 1999 as the Assistant Regional Director for
Fisheries and Ecological Services. Prior to coming to Alaska, LaVerne served as the Chief of the Fish
and Wildlife Services National Endangered Species Program from 1995 to 1999. During her tenure in
this position she received a Meritorious Service Award from Secretary Bruce Babbitt recognizing the new
directions for Endangered Species Management that her Division had set and formalized in numerous
volumes of guidance, regulations, and policy. In recognition of her commitment to science based listings
in an era of high litigation, she received a Special Commendation from the Department of Justice.
LaVerne began her career with the Fish and Wildlife Service in 1978 in the Endangered Species
Program, working to conserve endangered plants of the southeast and southwest U.S. LaVerne
expanded the focus on recovery at the National level and received an honorary Recovery Champion
award in 2002, the first year of the awards. LaVerne has also served in management positions in the
Fish and Wildlife Services Habitat Conservation Programs. In the early 90s she led the initiation of the
Services Coastal Program; supervised the Partners for Wildlife Program through a decade of rapid
budget growth and focusing of the program’s strategic priorities. She helped lead the effort to realign
the National Wetlands Inventory and led the Services No Net Loss of Wetlands Initiative. She was the
National co-leader for the Service’s Ecosystem Approach to Management Initiative for which she received
a Superior Service Award from Director Molly Beattie.
Prior to joining the Fish and Wildlife Service, LaVerne worked for the North Carolina Natural Resources
Department, the North Carolina Natural Heritage Program, and The Nature Conservancy in North
Carolina. She identified important botanical sites and worked to protect them through land acquisition
and conservation planning.
LaVerne received a B.S. in Botany and a M.S. in Ecology from North Carolina State University. She
was the 1977 recipient of the annual Martha Sue Sebastian Teaching Award from North Carolina State
University for her work as a teaching assistant during graduate school. She grew up in the mountains of
North Carolina with a love for wild places.
Last updated: April 30, 2013