Bryan J. Burhans – Executive Director
Bryan J. Burhans started his term as executive director in March of 2017, before that, he served nearly three years as deputy executive director of administration. Prior to joining the Game Commission, he served as the president & CEO of the American Chestnut Foundation headquartered in Asheville, NC. He also served on the executive staff at the National Wild Turkey Federation for more than 12 years, as a wildlife biologist with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, and as a biologist with the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries. Since 1995, his professional role has focused heavily on agency management and board of director development.
His educational background includes a master's degree in wildlife and fisheries biology from Frostburg State University, a bachelor's degree in wildlife science from the Pennsylvania State University, and an Associate of Science degree in wildlife technology from the Pennsylvania State University, DuBois campus. He graduated in 1985 from Pottsgrove High School located near Pottstown, PA.
During his career, Burhans has worked with a multitude of state and federal agencies dealing with wildlife and forest restoration, Farm Bill policy, private land wildlife management, and state and federal policy as they affect wildlife conservation. Burhans was instrumental in working with other conservation partners to include language in the 2008 Farm Bill to support private forest management to achieve wildlife conservation goals.
Career accomplishments include receiving the 2010 Outstanding Alumni award from The Pennsylvania State University DuBios campus and the 2005 Harry Hardtner award from the Southern Group of State Foresters recognizing outstanding leadership in forest management. He has chaired The Wildlife Society's Forest and Wildlife Committee, served on the prescribed fire council for South Carolina, served on the steering committee for the America's Longleaf Initiative, served on the board of directors for Green Forest Works, served on the steering committee for the Southern Roundtable for Sustainable Forestry, and previously served on the external review board for the Sustainable Forestry Initiative. Burhans has published more than 75 magazine and newspaper articles covering hunting and conservation. While with the National Wild Turkey Federation, Burhans co-hosted the organization's top-rated television show, Get in the Game.