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RALEIGH, N.C. (June 21) — Dr. David Cobb became one of just 35 people nationwide to graduate from the National Conservation Leadership Institute’s inaugural class this May.

Cobb, the wildlife management division chief for the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission since 1998, recently completed the seven-month program that serves to better prepare and retain environmental conservation leaders. The honor put him in select company, as he was originally chosen from a pool of more than 60 applicants nominated by natural resource organizations from around the country.

“Participating in the National Conservation Leadership Institute was one of the most profound experiences thus far in my career,” said Cobb, who spent nine years with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission before returning to work in his native state. “There will always be a need for leadership in the field of natural resource conservation, and my time spent with the Institute will undoubtedly help me better serve the citizens and natural resources of North Carolina.”

The National Conservation Leadership Institute was created to “better equip tomorrow’s conservation leaders in the latest leadership thinking and practice,” according to a news release distributed by the group. The program included a rigorous 10-day residency and a five-month period in which each fellow worked on a “leadership challenge project.”

Cobb’s project focused on developing a statewide land conservation strategy using the NC Wildlife Action Plan as a foundation, with a focus on land protection.

N.C. Wildlife Resources Director Dick Hamilton nominated Cobb for the program. He said the long-time division chief was chosen because of his valuable combination of skills and character.

“Future land development and population growth in North Carolina and across the country will put a strain on wildlife, wild places and the organizations that serve to protect them,” said Hamilton. “In the coming years, strong leadership and vision within conservation agencies will be more important than ever. We’re proud to boast that David – and many other Commission employees – displays these qualities. It’s safe to say the Wildlife Management Division is in good hands.”
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