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DNR Staffer Graduates From Award-Winning Leadership Institute

Annapolis, Md. (June 21, 2011) — The Maryland Department of Natural Resource’s (DNR) Paul Kazyak recently graduated from the National Conservation Leadership Institute (NCLI), an intense eight-month program addressing one of the nation’s most significant conservation challenges—preparing and retaining leaders.

“Kazyak is an extremely talented member of the DNR team,” said DNR Secretary John Griffin. “He exhibits the conservation and leadership skills necessary to help lead DNR’s leadership and training program and facilitate the State’s sustainability efforts into the future.”

Kazyak was one of 36 fellows from across the country selected to participate in the award-winning Institute. The program is offered each year to a select group of individuals identified by their nominating organizations as “high potentials.” Each Fellow was chosen for their capacity to build effective coalitions, lead organizational change and deliver results, as well as for their work experience, passion and goals.

“To be selected as a Fellow has been a great honor, and I feel privileged to have gotten to know many of the future leaders in natural resources conservation,” said Kazyak. “We face some incredibly challenging problems in natural resources management in the coming years and this fellowship has opened my eyes to new ways to exercise leadership.”

Kazyak has been with DNR since 1993, and has played a key role in establishing the Maryland Biological Stream Survey, a nationally recognized long-term monitoring program that is used for fishery management, rare species management, water quality assessment and regulatory listing. For the past five years, Kazyak has served as Maryland Liaison for the Highlands Action Program, has been heavily involved in sustainability issues at DNR and worked with youth on environmental issues and leadership development.

“Those selected for the program possess a high capacity for leadership. They represent a diverse mix of people and perspectives from across the country and across organizational boundaries,” said Steve Williams, Chairman of the Institute Board and President of the Wildlife Management Institute.

NCLI was created to equip tomorrow’s conservation leaders in adaptive leadership, the cutting-edge connective tissue in the Institute’s curriculum of the latest leadership thinking and practice. Each Fellow learns from some of the nation’s most influential conservation leaders and experts, including Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, professor Marty Linsky, co-author of the book, Leadership on the Line. The Fellows have worked together on solutions over the past eight months to prioritize leadership challenges facing their respective organizations.

“The Institute is a unique, comprehensive learning experience designed to challenge assumptions, teach skills, facilitate high-trust networking and strengthen confidence,” said Executive Director of the Institute, Dr. Sally Guynn. “It’s not a redundant program; it’s a remarkable experience to prepare an extraordinary leadership capacity for the future.”

The National Conservation Leadership Institute is a non-profit, multi-organizational effort with the single purpose of providing a world class experience for developing extraordinary leaders in natural resource conservation. The National Conservation Leadership Institute does not discriminate according to race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, age, disability, marital status, military status or any other category protected by applicable federal, state and local laws. For information visit,

   June 21, 2011

Contact: Josh Davidsburg
410-260-8002 office I 410-507-7526 cell

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources is the state agency responsible for providing natural and living resource-related services to citizens and visitors. DNR manages nearly a half-million acres of public lands and 17,000 miles of waterways, along with Maryland's forests, fisheries and wildlife for maximum environmental, economic and quality of life benefits. A national leader in land conservation, DNR-managed parks and natural, historic and cultural resources attract 11 million visitors annually. DNR is the lead agency in Maryland's effort to restore the Chesapeake Bay, the state's number one environmental priority. Learn more at