New policy intern joins TWS Government Affairs team

The Wildlife Society welcomes its fall 2023 Joe Burns Memorial Wildlife Policy Intern, Tom Klein

TWS recently welcomed its fall 2023 Joe Burns Memorial Policy intern, Tom Klein.

Klein is a New York City native and attended the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry, where he graduated with a bachelor’s of science in wildlife science and environmental policy. While at ESF, he served as executive officer, vice president and president of SUNY ESF’s student chapter of The Wildlife Society. He is currently pursuing an MPA in public policy and administration from the John Jay College of Criminal Justice.

Klein is passionate about threatened and endangered species conservation and has worked on research and conservation projects with species such as black-footed ferrets (Mustela nigripes), lesser-prairie chickens (Tympanuchus pallidicinctus) and Egyptian vultures (Neophron percnopterus). He’s had the opportunity to work on black-footed ferret conservation projects with Colorado Parks and Wildlife, The Wildlife Ecology Institute and The United States Department of Agriculture.

Klein’s professional interests are in the policy arena, where wildlife conservation and management meet politics. Within environmental policy, he is also passionate about climate change, public lands, outdoor recreation access, habitat connectivity and landowner engagement. Klein’s other interests include foreign policy and reading and writing about the intersection of international relations and wildlife conservation. Outside of work, Klein enjoys hiking, fishing and martial arts.

Tom Klein holds an endangered black-footed ferret in Colorado, where he worked as a black-footed ferret technician in 2022. Credit: Sarah Fish

During his internship, Klein will track policies that impact wildlife and wildlife professionals, and engage in coalition meetings, legislative hearings and agency briefings. Through his internship he will have the opportunity to enhance TWS policy resources and assist in writing policy briefs to engage TWS members, as well as write articles about wildlife policy developments for

He is very excited for this opportunity to be involved with TWS again and to learn about government relations and policy procedures.  

The Joe Burns Memorial Wildlife Policy Internship helps advance TWS policy priorities and provides professional experience to students and recent graduates looking to expand their network and expertise. The program is named in honor of one of TWS’ first policy interns, Joe Burns. Burns devoted his career to federal service and spent over 20 years working on behalf of conservation programming within the U.S. Forest Service. Visit to learn more about the program and current offerings.

Header Image: Tom Klein conducted prairie dog and black-footed ferret plague mitigation work with the USDA in Wyoming. Credit: Tom Klein