Executive Director

Carter Smith

David Yoskowitz, Ph.D. serves as the Executive Director of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.

Yoskowitz has spent much of his career at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, holding both faculty and administrative positions over the past 20 years. He previously served as HRI’s Senior Executive Director; Associate Director for Research, Policy, and Development; and was founding Endowed Chair for Socio-Economics.

As an economist, Yoskowitz came to HRI with interest and experience in applying a unique skillset to coastal, ocean, and watershed issues. HRI gave him the opportunity to integrate his work with his natural science colleagues to examine critical environmental and resilience issues of the greater Gulf of Mexico region. His work has focused on elucidating the link between environmental well-being and human well-being and moving practice into policy. He has worked to inventory and value ecosystem services and quantify the impact of sea-level rise on coastal community resiliency. His research has taken him through much of North and Central America including Cuba, Nicaragua, Belize, El Salvador, and Mexico. 

Yoskowitz held the position of Chief Economist for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (2014-2015), where he co-chaired an interagency task force under the auspices of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy that developed a research agenda around coastal green infrastructure and ecosystem services. Working with the NOAA Social Science Committee, he helped develop the agency’s first Social Science Vision and Strategy.

Yoskowitz serves on the Board of Directors of Indifly, which is dedicated to using recreational fisheries to create sustainable livelihoods for indigenous peoples around the world, and the Division Committee of the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine – Gulf Research Program. Yoskowitz also served on the National Research Council Committee on the Effects of the Deepwater Horizon Mississippi Canyon-252 Oil Spill on Ecosystem Services in the Gulf of Mexico. He previously sat on the Socio-Economic Scientific and Statistical Committee for the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council.

On October 5, 2022, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission took action to hire David Yoskowitz, Ph.D.

David; his wife, Carolyn Walker; and their son, Max enjoy all the outdoors has to offer. Yoskowitz is also an avid fisherman, hunter, camper, backpacker, implementer of native grasses and plants, and slowly becoming a birder.