Christiansen named Forest Service chief

The National Association of State Foresters congratulates Vicki Christiansen on formally accepting the role of USDA Forest Service chief.

WASHINGTON—The nation’s 59 state and territorial foresters offer their hearty congratulations to Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue’s pick for Forest Service chief: Vicki Christiansen.

Prior to today’s swearing in ceremony, Christiansen had been serving in the interim chief capacity since March. Before that, she served as deputy chief of the agency’s State and Private Forestry programs, associate deputy chief of State and Private Forestry, and deputy director of Fire and Aviation Management. She brings an additional 30 years of forestry and wildfire management experience from the states of Arizona and Washington.

“We couldn’t be more pleased that Vicki has accepted the role of chief,” said Lisa Allen, NASF president and Missouri state forester. “She is a tremendous supporter of state and private forestry and just what the Forest Service needs in a new leader. Her experience and balanced perspective will help the agency and our states work across all ownership boundaries to actively manage the nation’s trees and forests.”

As Arizona state forester, Christiansen oversaw the protection of 22 million acres of state and private lands. She rose to the position of state forester for Washington after a 26-year long career with the state’s natural resources department, which started with work as a wildland firefighter while in college. Christiansen earned a bachelor’s degree in forest management from the University of Washington and previously served as chair of the NASF Wildland Fire Committee.

“As a former wildland firefighter and fire manager, Chief Christiansen knows what’s needed to restore our forests and put them back to work for the taxpayers,” Secretary Perdue said in a press release yesterday. “With seven years at the Forest Service and 30 years with the states of Arizona and Washington, Vicki’s professional experience makes me confident that she will thrive in this role and hit the ground running.”

Media Contact: Whitney Forman-Cook at wforman-cook@stateforesters.org or 202-624-5417