New AFS Policy Director Drue Winters

Please join us in welcoming Drue Banta Winters to AFS. Drue joins AFS as the new policy director, temporarily sharing the role with Tom Bigford who will retire later this year.

Together they will lead the organization’s policy advocacy efforts, through thoughtful engagement with decision makers on issues that impact aquatic resources. The policy team capitalizes on the expertise of AFS’ members to influence policy outcomes to benefit aquatic resources by sharing management knowledge and the best available science with decision makers.

Drue is a seasoned policy and strategic communications advisor. She served in a key leadership role for the State of Louisiana on the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill and served as a federal policy advisor on the long-term recovery on the Gulf Coast following Hurricane Katrina with a focus on flood protection and ecosystem restoration. Most recently, Drue served as legal and policy counsel for the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries where she worked on a range of fisheries management issues. She graduated summa cum laude from Louisiana State University in 1997 with a B.A. in political science and later from LSU's Paul M. Hebert Law School.

“Drue comes to AFS with an impressive array of fisheries and wildlife policy experience, serving as a leader for the State of Louisiana addressing local, regional and national challenges, like fisheries management and habitat restoration. She is a skilled policy strategist and negotiator. We are lucky to have her on our team,” said AFS Executive Director Doug Austen.