Game Commission Welcomes New Deputy Executive Director

Pennsylvania Game Commission

HARRISBURG, PA — The Pennsylvania Game Commission has a new deputy executive director of field operations.

David Mitchell, who recently had been serving as the director of the Southeast Region Office, stepped into his new role on July 24. In his new position, Mitchell is responsible for coordinating and advancing the wildlife management program in the agency’s six regions.

Mitchell fills the vacancy created when former deputy executive director Rich Palmer retired on June 26.

Game Commission Executive Director Bryan Burhans said Mitchell, given his training, variety of experience and advancing through the ranks within the agency, will fulfill his new role nicely.

“Dave’s proven leadership skills are second to none, and his experience as director of two Game Commission region offices — the Northcentral and, most recently, the Southeast — will serve him well in his new position,” Burhans said. “Dave has excelled in his service to the Game Commission and citizens of the Commonwealth, and I’m certain that will continue in his role as deputy executive director.”

Mitchell, of Saylorsburg, has worked his entire career with the Game Commission.

After graduating from Lycoming College with a bachelor’s degree in political science and criminal justice, Mitchell in June 1991 enrolled in the 21st Class at the Ross Leffler School of Conservation.

Upon graduation from the school in 1992, he was assigned as a wildlife conservation officer in Lehigh County.

In 1995, he accepted the land management officer position in the Southeast Region responsible for Lehigh, Northampton, Bucks, Montgomery, Philadelphia, and Delaware counties.

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Mitchell was promoted to Land Management Supervisor in the Southeast Region Office in 2014, serving in that capacity until being appointed the Northcentral Region Office director.

In April 2021, Mitchell went back to the Southeast Region Office as director there to fill a retirement void where he served until accepting the deputy executive director position.

“After having the opportunity to serve the agency in both the Southeast and Northcentral regions, I am eager to serve at the Game Commission headquarters in Harrisburg to continue to advance the agency’s mission across the state,” Mitchell said. “As a lifelong avid sportsman and conservationist, I have spent my career working to improve wildlife, habitat and hunting opportunities in the Commonwealth. In this new position, I am looking forward to continuing to make a positive impact benefiting Pennsylvania’s wildlife, hunters, trappers, and wildlife enthusiasts,” he added.

Mitchell is one of two deputy executive directors working for the Game Commission. Thomas P. Grohol is the deputy executive director of administration.

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