Michael Butler is a native Tennessean who grew up in Jackson and has since lived in each grand division of the state. Greatly impacted by his experiences outdoors from an early age, Butler's passion for Tennessee’s wildlife and great outdoors led him to study wildlife and fisheries science at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and then earn his master's in fish and wildlife management from Montana State University.
Upon returning to Tennessee in 1996, he was recruited to join the Tennessee Conservation League, which later changed its name to Tennessee Wildlife Federation. In 2002, Butler was promoted to chief executive officer, a position he holds presently. His work over the years with the Federation has afforded him the opportunity to engage in and address several of Tennessee’s most significant wildlife and conservation needs.
Butler has served on numerous conservation- and community-oriented boards, and was a presidential appointee to the Morris K. Udall and Stewart L. Udall Foundation board of trustees from 2006 until 2012.
He lives outside of Franklin with his wife Wallis, their three daughters—Wesley Anne, Campbell, and Ella—and their two Labrador Retrievers, Doc and Albus.