Name: Jim Hall
Position: Chief of law enforcement, National Wildlife Refuge System, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Best known for: In more than two decades with the National Wildlife Refuge System, Jim Hall has done it all, it seems. During assignments in Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi and Alaska, he has been involved in a major reforestation effort, helped establish a new wildlife refuge, protected endangered species, tagged bears, rescued hunters and hikers, fought forest fires, and dealt with people violating fishing and hunting rules and breaking other laws on federal lands.
Now he’s in a place he never expected to be: behind a desk in Arlington County, as the chief law enforcement officer for the refuge system. Lured to headquarters in 2007, Hall oversees 400 uniformed officers, ensuring they are trained and have the proper tools to enforce the laws designed to protect the natural habitats and wildlife in the 150 million-acre system. He also has a key role in emergency management issues and in setting law enforcement policies. Hall says his years in the field serve him well in the chief’s job. “I understand what they are going through and the sacrifices they make,” he said.
Government work: Hall began his career with the Fish and Wildlife Service as a tractor operator at Harris Neck National Wildlife Refuge in Georgia, and soon became refuge manager for Harris Neck, Blackbeard Island and Wolf Island. He also served at the Noxubee, St. Catherine Creek, Cat Island and Kenai wildlife refuges. He became chief in the Branch of Law Enforcement Operations in 2007, and in 2010 was named chief of law enforcement for the National Wildlife Refuge System.
Motivation for service: At age 12, while hunting in the Piedmont National Wildlife Refuge in Georgia, Hall and his father had their licenses checked by a refuge officer. Hall was so impressed by the officer that he made the decision then to pursue a career in wildlife management and to become a federal wildlife officer.
Biggest challenge: Hall’s biggest challenge is the complexity of managing hundreds of law enforcement officers and setting policies for a diverse and huge refuge system that stretches from Guam to the Caribbean and from Alaska to the U.S.-Mexico border.
Quote: “A career in managing a national wildlife refuge and being a federal wildlife officer is the best job in the world. You get to work in amazing places and see amazing things.”
For a full profile, visit the Fed Page at washingtonpost.com.