Carter Smith serves as the Executive Director of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD), a position he has held since January of 2008. He has a wildlife management degree from Texas Tech and a master’s degree in conservation biology from Yale University. As a wildlife biologist, he has worked on projects across the U.S., Mexico, and Canada.Prior to joining TPWD, Smith worked in conservation for the Katy Prairie Conservancy and the Nature Conservancy of Texas (TNC), where he served as the Texas State Director.
At TPWD, he is responsible for overseeing an agency of 3,300 professionals in 13 different divisions, including Wildlife, Law Enforcement, State Parks, Coastal Fisheries, and Inland Fisheries. Smith has been particularly active in the areas of private lands conservation, the acquisition of additional state parkland and wildlife management areas, securing state funding for state parks, children in nature initiatives, conservation and mitigation initiatives stemming from the Deepwater Horizon incident, and the state’s management response to chronic wasting disease.
He serves on a number of conservation-related boards and advisory councils, including the Texas Land Trust Council and the Katy Prairie Conservancy. As the past Chairman of the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies, he currently serves on the Executive Committee of that association and is the former President of the Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies. He also served as Chair of the Southeastern Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies and is a professional member of the Boone & Crockett Club, a lifetime member of the Texas Bighorn Society, the Dallas Safari Club, and the Houston Safari Club.