Meet the Federal Leaders in Outdoor Recreation

InteriorAgricultureU.S. Army Corps of EngineersCommerce


U.S. Department of the Interior

Ryan Zinke – David Bernhardt – James Cason – Todd Willens – Andrea Travnicek – Aurelia SkipwithKatherine MacGregorRick May – Mike ArgoDavid Vela – Dan Smith – Jim Kurth – Brian Steed – Bob Ratcliffe – Andy TenneyJeff McCusker

RYAN ZINKE – was sworn in as the 52nd Secretary of the Interior on March 1, 2017. A fifth-generation Montanan and former U.S. Navy SEAL Commander, Ryan Zinke built one of the strongest track records in the 114th Congress on championing sportsmen’s access, conservation, regulatory relief, forest management, responsible energy development, and smart management of federal lands.

“As a former Navy SEAL, Ryan has incredible leadership skills and an attitude of doing whatever it takes to win,” President Donald Trump said in nominating the former congressman, who built an impressive portfolio on Interior issues ranging from federal mineral leases to tribal affairs to public lands conservation.

Growing up in a logging and rail town near Glacier National Park, Ryan has had a lifelong appreciation for conserving America’s natural beauty while honoring Teddy Roosevelt’s vision of multiple-use on our public lands. He has consistently led the efforts to renew the Land and Water Conservation Fund in Congress, and has also been a firm advocate for our nation’s sportsmen to gain access to our public lands with the SCORE Act and SHARE Act. Zinke also coauthored the Resilient Federal Forest Act, which initiated new reforms for revitalizing America’s timber towns and preventing wildfires by emphasizing the collaborative process.

Zinke is widely praised for his voting record supporting the Teddy Roosevelt philosophy of managing public lands, which calls for multiple-use to include economic, recreation and conservation. He has pledged to explore every possibility for safely and responsibly repealing bad regulations and using public natural resources to create jobs and wealth for the American people.

“I am honored and humbled to serve Montana and America as Secretary of the Interior,” Zinke said. “I shall faithfully uphold Teddy Roosevelt’s belief that our treasured public lands are ‘for the benefit and enjoyment of the people’. I will work tirelessly to ensure our public lands are managed and preserved in a way that benefits everyone for generations to come. Most importantly, our sovereign Indian Nations and territories must have the respect and freedom they deserve. I look forward to making the Department of the Interior and America great again.”

As Secretary of the Interior, Zinke leads an agency with more than 70,000 employees who are stewards for 20 percent of the nation’s lands, including national parks, monuments, wildlife refuges and other public lands. The department oversees the responsible development of conventional and renewable energy supplies on public lands and waters; is the largest supplier and manager of water in the 17 Western states; and upholds trust responsibilities to the 567 federally recognized American Indian tribes and Alaska Natives.

Ryan Zinke represented the state of Montana in the U.S. House of Representatives since 2014. Before that he served in the Montana State Senate from 2009 to 2011, but the bulk of his public service was 23 years as a U.S. Navy SEAL officer.

Zinke was commissioned as an officer in the Navy in 1985 and was soon selected to join the elite force where he would build an honorable career until his retirement in 2008. He retired with the rank of Commander after leading SEAL operations across the globe, including as the Deputy and Acting Commander of Joint Special Forces in Iraq and two tours at SEAL Team Six. Zinke was the first Navy SEAL elected to the U.S. House and is the first SEAL to serve as a cabinet secretary.

Zinke holds a Geology degree from the University of Oregon, where he was an All-PAC 10 football player; a Master’s degree in Business Finance from National University; and a Master’s degree in Global Leadership from the University of San Diego. He and his wife Lolita (Lola) have three children and two granddaughters. Zinke is proud to be an adopted member of the Assiniboine Sioux Tribe at the Fort Peck Reservation in Northeast Montana.

The Hon. Ryan Zinke 
Secretary
U.S. Department of the Interior
1849 C Street, NW
Washington, DC 20240
202-208-7351

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DAVID BERNHARDT – serves as Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of the Interior.  As Deputy Secretary, Mr. Bernhardt is the second-highest-ranking official at the Interior Department with statutory responsibilities as the Chief Operating Officer of an agency of more than 70,000 employees and an annual budget of approximately $12 billion.

Mr. Bernhardt is an avid hunter and angler and recently served on the Board of Game and Inland Fisheries for the Commonwealth of Virginia. He has in-depth experience in legal matters concerning active regulations and rule-makings, with years of legal experience in both the government and the private sector. His expertise ranges from the Endangered Species Act to Outer-Continental leases, from mining royalties to Indian Affairs.

From 2001 and 2009, he held several positions within the Department of the Interior, including serving as Solicitor. In that capacity, he led the International Boundary Commission between the United States and Canada and was responsible, along with his Canadian counterpart, for maintaining the 5,525 mile international boundary between these two nations. Prior to that, he served then-Secretary Norton as a deputy solicitor, deputy chief of staff and counselor to the Secretary, and as director of Congressional and Legislative affairs and counselor to the Secretary.

A native of Rifle, Colorado, Bernhardt earned a B.A. in political science with a minor in business administration from the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley in 1990. He graduated with honors from the George Washington University National Law Center in 1994 and is admitted to various state and federal court bars. He is married to Gena Bernhardt. They have two children and reside in Arlington, Virginia.

David Bernhardt
Deputy Secretary
U.S. Department of the Interior
1849 C Street, NW
Washington, DC  20240
202-208-7693
Garth_Rees@ios.doi.gov

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JAMES CASON – is the Associate Deputy Secretary of the Interior.  In this role, he provides advice and assistance in the administration of the Deputy Secretary’s responsibilities, by managing internal and program activities of the office. Mr. Cason acts as the focal point for review of proposed policies, regulations, and legislation, in order to ensure coordination within DOI and with other agencies, Congress, public interest groups, and state, local, and tribal governments. Additionally, he is the Deputy Secretary’s liaison to DOI’s legislative and communications directors, and coordinates sensitive discussions between the Deputy Secretary and other high-level DOI officials.  Mr. Cason is a seasoned Department of the Interior professional who previously served as the Associate Deputy Secretary, (acting) Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs, and the (acting) Assistant Secretary for Policy, Management and Budget under President George W. Bush. In addition, Mr. Cason served as the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Land and Minerals Management under Reagan and in various positions with the Bureau of Land Management. Mr. Cason also has extensive experience with the Department of Agriculture and in independent consulting.

James Cason
Associate Deputy Secretary of the Interior
U.S. Department of the Interior
1849 C Street, NW
Washington, DC  20240
202-208-6291
James_Cason@ios.doi.gov

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TODD WILLENS – joined the U.S. Department of the Interior in July 2017 as Assistant Deputy Secretary.  He has more than 20 years of public policy and governmental affairs experience, with proven successes on behalf of prior Administrations, Members of Congress, national associations, and the private sector. He possesses a deep knowledge and understanding of the Department’s many complex policies, ranging from land to energy, wildlife, and water management.  Mr. Willens served as Chief of Staff to Congressman Steve Pearce (R-NM) from 2010 to 2017.  As Chief of Staff, he provided strategic advice and operational oversight to meet the needs of the constituents of New Mexico’s Second Congressional District.  He worked closely with various stakeholders in this capacity, including local government officials, Congress, and the Executive Branch.  Prior to working on Capitol Hill, Mr. Willens served as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks at the Department of the Interior from 2006 to 2008.  There he worked on the National Park Service Centennial and the historic recovery of the Bald Eagle.  In addition, from 2003 to 2006, Mr. Willens served as Senior Policy Advisor for the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Natural Resources, where he worked closely with the Chairman to develop key legislation, including the 2005 Endangered Species Act Reauthorization and the Energy Policy Act of 2005.​ ​ A California native, Mr. Willens is a 1994 graduate of the University of California, Los Angeles.  He currently lives in Washington, D.C. with his wife and four children.

Todd Willens
Assistant Deputy Secretary
U.S. Department of the Interior
1849 C Street, NW
Washington, DC  20240
202-208-6291
todd_willens@ios.doi.gov

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ANDREA TRAVNICEK – is Acting Assistant Secretary for Fish, Wildlife and Parks at the U.S. Department of the Interior, a job she has held since August 7.  Ms. Travnicek oversees the National Park Service and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.  Prior to her new role, Ms. Travnicek served as Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Water and Science.  Previously, she worked as a senior policy adviser for two North Dakota governors and worked for the Army Corps of Engineers in California. Her 2008 doctoral dissertation dealt with the role of communication among stakeholders in the management of three lakes in west-central Minnesota.  She holds a doctorate in natural resources management and communication from North Dakota State University and has negotiated on water issues at the state, federal, international, and tribal level.


Andrea Travnicek
Acting Assistant Secretary for Fish, Wildlife and Parks
U.S. Department of the Interior
1849 C Street, N.W.
Washington, DC   20240
202-208-3100
andrea_travnicek@ios.doi.gov

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AURELIA SKIPWITH – is the new nominee for Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.  She currently serves as Interior’s Deputy Assistant Secretary for Fish, Wildlife and Parks.  In her role, she supports the Assistant Secretary in overseeing policy, planning, and regulatory actions for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Park Service, including the 150 million acre Wildlife Refuge system and over 400 units of the National Park Service. The Assistant Secretary’s Office is also responsible for historic and cultural preservation and management of protected species.  She holds a Law Degree from the University of Kentucky, a Master’s Degree from Purdue University, and a Bachelor’s Degree from Howard University.

 

Aurelia Skipwith
Deputy Assistant Secretary for Fish, Wildlife and Parks
U.S. Department of the Interior
1849 C Street, NW, Room 3148
Washington, D.C.  20240
202-208-5347
aurelia_skipwith@ios.doi.gov

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KATHARINE MacGREGOR – is the Deputy Chief of Staff for Policy at the U.S. Department of the Interior, where she also serves as Principal Assistant Deputy Secretary for Land and Minerals Management.  In these positions, Ms. MacGregor advises the Secretary and Assistant Secretary on public land use and energy development.  She also helps oversee the Bureau of Land Management and other agencies responsible for regulating resource extraction on hundreds of millions of acres of public land and water.  Prior to her current positions, she served as Acting Assistant Secretary for Land and Minerals Management, as well as Special Assistant to the Secretary.  She has also served as senior professional staff on the Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources in the U.S. House of Representatives, where she worked on issues related to energy production on federal lands.  She is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania.


Katherine MacGregor

Deputy Chief of Staff for Policy
U.S. Department of the Interior
1849 C Street, NW
Washington, D.C.  20240
202-208-3100

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GREGG RENKES – is the Director of the Office of Policy Analysis at the U.S. Department of the Interior.  Mr. Renkes served as majority staff director on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, where he worked on congressional oversight of the Interior Department. He worked in private legal practice in both Alaska and Washington, D.C., before becoming Alaska’s attorney general under then-Gov. Frank Murkowski in 2002.  Renkes has a bachelor’s degree in environmental science from Vassar College, a master’s degree from the Yale University School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, and a law degree from the University of Colorado




Gregg Renkes
Director, Office of Policy Analysis
U.S. Department of the Interior
1849 C Street, N.W., Room 3510
Washington, D.C.   20240
202-219-1037
gregg_renkes@ios.doi.gov

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RICK MAY – is a retired and decorated U.S. Navy SEAL Captain who serves the U.S. Department of the Interior as the Secretary’s Senior National Advisor for Recreation.  He oversees recreational activities on public lands and waters, with the aim of creating access and opportunities.  Since his departure from active duty in 2010, he has worked with wounded veterans in various types of recreational activities, helping them to reintegrate back into mainstream America.  He is a graduate of Sonoma State University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Biology and he also holds a Master of Arts degree in Human Resource Management.  A surfer, mountain bicyclist, motorcycle racer, winemaker, businessman and more, Mr. May has remarkable passion and energy, breadth of interest and leadership skills.  At Interior, his roles include removal of barriers to responsiveness by the department to public/private partnership opportunities and expansion of recreation.  He plays a central role in the work of the Made in America Outdoor Recreation Partnership Advisory Committee and implementation of Secretarial Order 3366, “Increasing Recreational Opportunities on Lands and Waters Managed by the U.S. Department of the Interior.”

Rick May
Senior National Advisor to the Secretary for Recreation
U.S. Department of the Interior
1849 C Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C.   20240
202-208-2651
rick_may@ios.doi.gov

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MIKE ARGO– is the Special Assistant to Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke for Departmental Reorganization.  Mr. Argo is a decorated retired U.S. Navy SEAL Captain who served for three decades to include fighting in combat during Operation Just Cause in Panama to serving up to Operation Enduring Freedom in Iraq.  He served as Commander and Commanding Officer for four separate commands, worked three Joint commands, and deployed on numerous deployment around the world.  More recently, Mr. Argo serve as a strategist and planner at the Office of Naval Intelligence in with the Kennedy Irregular Warfare Center and a short stent with the Department of Homeland Security at the Domestic Nuclear Detection Office. Argo played college football at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, where he earned a B.A. degree in Education. He also has as MS in Geography.

 

Mike Argo
Special Assistant for Departmental Reorganization
U.S. Department of the Interior
1849 C Street, NW
Washington, D.C.  20240
michael_argo@ios.doi.gov

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DAVID VELA – is the current nominee for Director of the National Park Service.   If confirmed, he will be the first Hispanic person to ever hold the office.  Mr. Vela currently serves as the Superintendent of Grand Teton National Park, a position he has held since 2014.  Prior to becoming Superintendent, he served as Associate Director for Workforce, Relevancy and Inclusion in the National Park Service’s Washington headquarters, where he oversaw NPS programs including Human Resources, Learning and Development, Equal Opportunity, Youth, and the Office of Relevancy, Diversity & Inclusion.  Mr. Vela also served at parks across the country and was director of the Southeast Region for four years.

 

David Vela
Director (Nominated)
National Park Service
1849 C Street, NW
Washington, DC 20240
202-208-3818
david_vela@nps.gov

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DAN SMITH – is Deputy Director, Exercising the Authority of the Director for the National Park Service.  He leads more than 20,000 National Park Service employees who care for America’s 417 national parks and NPS programs that help communities across the nation preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities.  Deputy Director Smith served as superintendent of Colonial National Historical Park from 2004 to 2015, where he managed a 23-mile parkway and three historic sites.  During his tenure at the park, Deputy Director Smith oversaw the completion of a new visitor center and a new research center at Jamestown in preparation for the 400th anniversary commemoration of the settlement in 2007.  His other assignments in the National Park Service include serving as Special Assistant to the National Park Service Director and Assistant Director of Legislative and Congressional Affairs.  He also served as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks at the Department of the Interior, where he was responsible for the multi-billion dollar budgets and programs of the National Park Service and U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service in coordination with congressional representatives, state and local governments, and other important partners.  Deputy Director Smith was born in Maine. A Vietnam War veteran, Deputy Director Smith served in the U.S. Army’s 4th Infantry.  He received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and Master of Science degree in Recreation Administration from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. He is an Eagle Scout.

P. Dan Smith
Deputy Director, Exercising the Authority of the Director
National Park Service
1849 C Street, NW
Washington, DC 20240
202-208-3818
paul_smith@nps.gov

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JIM KURTH – is the Deputy Director for Operations of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, managing the day-to-day implementation of the Service’s field-based mission.  As Deputy Director, Mr. Kurth promotes and implements the agency’s mission and priorities throughout the United States and abroad by developing and strengthening partnerships with other federal agencies and foreign governments, states, tribes, non-governmental organizations and the private sector.  A 36-year career employee with the Service, he previously served as Chief of the National Wildlife Refuge System beginning in 2011.  In nearly four years as Chief and 11 years prior to that as Deputy Chief, he led the management of the world’s premier system of public lands and waters set aside to conserve America’s fish, wildlife and plants.  He initiated the development of Conserving the Future: Wildlife Refuges and the Next Generation – a renewed vision for the growth and management of the Refuge System over the next decade – and led its implementation.  Mr. Kurth began his Refuge System career in 1979 with posts at Mississippi Sandhill Crane National Wildlife Refuge, Arthur R. Marshall Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge in Florida, Bogue Chitto National Wildlife Refuge in Louisiana, Seney National Wildlife Refuge in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, and Ninigret National Wildlife Refuge in Rhode Island.  Starting in 1994, Mr. Kurth managed the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in northern Alaska – the largest refuge in the United States, spanning 20 million acres.  He and his wife Trisha, their three children, and grandchildren, all live in the Northern Virginia area. They enjoy their weekly Saturday family dinners together, a tradition they have continued for many years.

Jim Kurth
Deputy Director for Operations
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
1849 C Street, N.W.
Washington, DC  20240
202-208-5333
Jim_Kurth@fws.gov

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BRIAN STEED – is the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) Deputy Director for Policy and Programs, exercising authority of the Director. Before joining the BLM in October 2017, Mr. Steed served as Chief of Staff for Representative Chris Stewart of Utah. Before that, he taught economics at Utah State University and was once a deputy county attorney in Iron County, Utah. He is a native of Logan, Utah, and attended Utah State University, earning both a B.A. and M.A. in political science. He also earned his law degree at the University of Utah, with a Certificate in Natural Resources and Environmental Law.  Mr. Steed then earned his doctorate in Public Policy from Indiana University in 2010.



Brian Steed
Deputy Director for Policy and Programs, Exercising Authority of the Director
Bureau of Land Management
1849 C Street NW, Rm. 5665
Washington, D.C.  20240
202-208-3801
bsteed@blm.gov

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BOB RATCLIFFE – is the Division Chief for the National Park Service’s Conservation, Recreation and Community Assistance Programs, a position he has held for the last four years.  He oversees the widely recognized Recreation Trails and Conservation Assistance Program and National Trails and National Rivers programs among others.  Previously, he served 24 years for the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) in a variety of field and national leadership roles, including over a dozen years as Deputy Assistant Director for Resources and Planning, and Division Chief for the National Recreation and Visitor Services Program.  Mr. Ratcliffe has been successful in working with constituents, coalitions, partners and agency leadership to emphasize rivers, trails, recreation, conservation and community assistance as top priorities for the agencies.  He helped guide the development of several past administrations’ initiatives to advance outdoor recreation and has helped shape the NPS’ Centennial efforts as well as other national strategic priorities for youth engagement and promoting economic and health benefits of outdoor recreation.  He is also a member of several NPS strategic leadership teams, guiding efforts to help define future roles for NPS and the Department of the Interior in addressing recreation, urban, and public-engagement challenges and identifying opportunities to support the agency’s relevance, diversity and inclusion goals.  He has advanced degrees in outdoor recreation, park and resource management.  He has spent much of the last three decades developing new and progressive national policies enhancing conservation and recreation access while balancing protection of resources.  He has focused on developing proactive policies and improving the best practices for planning for and sustainably managing increased visitation and emerging recreation activities. Mr. Ratcliffe also has experience as a Congressional Fellow in the U.S. Senate, staffing environment, public lands, natural resource economics and landscape level planning issues. His background blends a range of public agency, educational and private-sector experience as an Outward Bound instructor, university faculty member, public-engagement and collaboration specialist, NPS ranger, river manager, and community-planning and resource-conservation consultant.  He regularly enjoys skiing, rafting, kayaking, hiking, mountain biking and many other outdoor recreation activities with his family.  Mr. Ratcliffe has earned degrees in outdoor recreation, park and resource management.

Robert Ratcliffe
Division Chief, Conservation & Outdoor Recreation Programs
National Park Service
1849 C Street, N.W. Room 1342
Washington, DC   20240
202-354-6904
bob_ratcliffe@nps.gov

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ANDY TENNEY – is the Chief for the Division of Recreation and Visitor Services with the Bureau of Land Management, a position he has held since 2011. Mr. Tenney has spent his entire 30 year federal career working for the Bureau of Land Management. Previous to his current position, he served as a Branch Chief in the Recreation and Visitor Services Division for 5 years. Before relocating to the Washington, DC area, Mr. Tenney lived in the western United States for 20 years working on recreation, wilderness, trails, and volunteer programs for the BLM in Yuma, Arizona, Ridgecrest, California, and Rock Springs and Cheyenne, Wyoming. He enjoys most sports and likes to hunt, fish, hike, and travel.  Mr. Tenney and his wife Sheri have two adult daughters, Heather and Ashley.

 

Andy Tenney
Chief, Division of Recreation and Visitor Services
Bureau of Land Management
1849 C Street NW, Room 5644
Washington, DC 20240
(202) 912-7094
atenney@blm.gov

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JEFF McCUSKER – is the Deputy Division Chief for the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Recreation and Visitor Services Program, a position he has held since April 2017.  Prior to his current position, he served as a Supervisory Outdoor Recreation Planner in the BLM’s Northwest District in Salem, Oregon.  Mr. McCusker led the consolidation of the recreation program in the former Eugene and Salem Districts and centralized recreation planning and operations for five field offices and 23 developed recreation sites, leading to more teamwork and efficiency.  Prior to moving to Salem, he worked for the National Park Service as the North Country National Scenic Trail manager (New York to North Dakota) in Michigan, for the BLM’s Eastern States Office, based at the Lower Potomac Field Station, and served as the Eastern States Office Recreation program lead.  His other professional experiences include working for the National Park Service in the Land and Water Conservation Fund program, for the Rivers, Trails and Conservation Assistance program in California, and as an Outdoor Recreation Planner for the BLM in Winnemucca, Nevada.  From 1995 to 2000, he worked in Mongolia as a Park Management Specialist for the United Nations and as Associate Peace Corps Director, overseeing the health, small business, park management, and environmental education programs.

Jeffrey McCusker
Deputy Chief, Recreation and Visitors Services Division
Bureau of Land Management
20 M Street, S.E.
Washington, DC   20003
202-912-7250
jmccusker@blm.gov

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U.S. Department of Agriculture

Sonny Perdue – Stephen Censky – James Hubbard – Dan Jiron – Vicki Christiansen – Leslie Weldon – Glenn Casamassa – Michiko Martin – Jacqueline Emanuel

 

SONNY PERDUE – became the 31st United States Secretary of Agriculture on April 25, 2017, confirmed by the U.S. Senate 87-11.  He was born into a farming family in Bonaire, Georgia. From childhood, and through his life in business and elected office, Sec. Perdue has experienced the industry from every possible perspective: a former farmer, agribusinessman, veterinarian, state legislator, and governor of Georgia.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is made up of 29 agencies and offices with nearly 100,000 employees who serve the American people at more than 4,500 locations across the country and abroad.

Secretary Perdue has established four principles for his actions. First, he will maximize the ability of the men and women of America’s agriculture and agribusiness sector to create jobs, to produce and sell the foods and fiber that feed and clothe the world, and to reap the earned reward of their labor. He seeks to remove every obstacle and give farmers, ranchers, and producers every opportunity to prosper. Second, he prioritizes customer service for American taxpayers and consumers. They will expect, and have every right to demand, that their government conduct the people’s business efficiently, effectively, and with the utmost integrity. Third, as Americans expect a safe and secure food supply, USDA will continue to serve in the critical role of ensuring the food we put on the table to feed our families meets the strict safety standards we’ve established. Food security is a key component of national security, because hunger and peace do not long coexist. And fourth, Perdue will always remember that America’s agricultural bounty comes directly from the land. And today, those land resources sustain more than 320 million Americans and countless millions more around the globe. Perdue’s father’s words still ring true: We’re all stewards of the land, owned or rented, and our responsibility is to leave it better than we found it.

As a youngster growing up on a dairy and diversified row crop farm in rural Georgia, Sec. Perdue never fully realized that the blessings of purposeful, meaningful work would serve him as well as they have in life. When he was a young boy feeding the calves and plowing the fields, he was an integral part of the workforce on his father’s farm. As the son of a mother who was an English teacher for 42 years, he benefited from her teachings as well – not just by instilling in him the beliefs he still holds dear, but also by lending him an appreciation and respect for language and proper grammar. But more than anything in his life, it was the family farm which shaped Sonny Perdue. He has lived and breathed the exhilaration of a great crop and the despair and devastation of a drought. He learned by experience what his father told him as a child, “If you take care of the land, the land will take care of you.”

The work ethic cemented in him by his farming roots has remained with Sonny Perdue throughout his life. As a younger man, he served his country in the U.S. Air Force, rising to the rank of Captain. After earning a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from the University of Georgia, he put that training to use in private practice in North Carolina. As a member of the Georgia State Senate for eleven years, he eventually ascended to the position of President Pro Tempore. As a two-term governor of Georgia, he was credited with transforming a budget deficit into a surplus, dramatically increasing student performance in public schools, and fostering an economic environment that allowed employers to flourish and manufacturers and agricultural producers to achieve record levels of exports. He followed these accomplishments with a successful career in agribusiness, where he focused on commodities and transportation in enterprises that have spanned the southeastern United States.

Sec. Perdue is a strong believer in good government, operating efficiently and serving the needs of its customers: the people of the United States. As a state senator, he was recognized as a leading authority on issues including energy and utilities, agriculture, transportation, emerging technologies and economic development, and for his ability to grasp the nuances of complex problems. As governor, he reformed state budget priorities, helped Georgians create more than 200,000 new jobs, and promoted his home state around the world to attract new businesses. In 2009, the Reason Foundation recognized Sec. Perdue as a leader who “aggressively pursued new strategies to increase the effectiveness and efficiency of government and deliver better value at less cost to taxpayers.” In addition, he was named “Public Official of the Year” in October 2010 by Governing Magazine. To this day, his thoughts are never very far from the wishes of the citizens – the true owners of the government.

Sec. Perdue recognizes that issues like agriculture cut across political party boundaries, and supports reaching across the aisle so that partisanship doesn’t get in the way of good solutions.  Sec. Perdue has been married to Mary Ruff Perdue for 45 years and has four adult children and fourteen grandchildren. Sec. Perdue remains a licensed airplane and helicopter pilot and avid outdoor sportsman.

The Hon. Sonny Perdue
Secretary
U.S. Department of Agriculture
Room 200A
1400 Independence Ave., S.W.
Washington, D.C.   20250
202-720-3631

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STEPHEN CENSKY is the Deputy Secretary for the U.S. Department of Agriculture. He was sworn-in on October 11, 2017 after being unanimously confirmed by the Senate. Mr. Censky previously served for the past 21 years as CEO of the American Soybean Association, a national, not-for-profit trade association that represents United States soybean farmers on policy and trade. Mr. Censky began his career working as a legislative assistant for Senator Jim Abdnor (R-SD). Later he served in both the Reagan and George H. W. Bush Administrations at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, eventually serving as Administrator of the Foreign Agricultural Service where he was involved in running our nation’s export programs. Mr. Censky received his B.S. in Agriculture from South Dakota State University and his Postgraduate Diploma in Agriculture Science from the University of Melbourne, Australia. He grew up on a soybean, corn, and diversified livestock farm near Jackson, Minnesota. He and his wife Carmen have two daughters in college.

Stephen Censky
Deputy Secretary
U.S. Department of Agriculture
1400 Independence Ave., S.W.
Washington, D.C.   20250
202-720-6052

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JAMES HUBBARD – serves as the Department of Agriculture’s Undersecretary for Natural Resources and Environment.  Mr. Hubbard worked for the Colorado Forest Service for 35 years. During his two decades as state forester, he served on multiple National Association of State Foresters committees, most notably as chair of the legislative committee. Mr. Hubbard has worked as director of the Office of Wildland Fire Coordination for the U.S. Department of the Interior and Deputy Chief for State and Private Forestry at the USDA Forest Service.

 

 

James Hubbard
Undersecretary for Natural Resources and Environment
U.S. Department of Agriculture
1400 Independence Avenue, SW
Washington, D.C.  20250
202-720-2791

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DAN JIRON – serves as Acting Deputy Under Secretary for Natural Resources and Environment at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, a position he has held since 2017.  With more than 29 years of public service and natural resources management, Mr. Jiron was appointed Associate Chief of the Forest Service in July 2016.  He served as the direct senior executive support to the Chief of the Forest Service. This leadership role included advancing strategic goals of the agency: Sustaining the Nation’s Forests and Grasslands; Delivering Benefits to the Public; Applying Scientific-Based Knowledge Globally; and Excelling as a High Performing Agency.  Prior to this appointment, he served in many leadership positions, including:  Regional Forester of the Rocky Mountain Region; Deputy Regional Forester in the Pacific Southwest Region; Forest Supervisor of the Santa Fe National Forest; District Ranger on the Salt Lake Ranger District of the Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest; District Ranger on the South Park Ranger District of the Pike and San Isabel National Forest, Comanche, and Cimarron National Grasslands; Director of Communications and Legislative Affairs of the Intermountain Region; National Press Officer in Washington, D.C.; and aide to United States Senator Ben Nighthorse Campbell of Colorado.  Mr. Jiron earned a Bachelor’s degree from Colorado State University and a Master’s degree from Regis University of Denver.  Under the USDA reorganization plan, the Under Secretary for Natural Resources and Environment will retain supervision of the U.S. Forest Service.

Dan Jiron
Acting Deputy Under Secretary for Natural Resources and Environment
U.S. Department of Agriculture
1400 Independence Avenue, S.W., 204-E Whitten Building
Washington, DC   20250
202-720-7173
dan.jiron@osec.usda.gov

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VICKI CHRISTIANSEN – is the Chief at the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Forest Service in Washington, D.C.  Prior to that, she was Deputy Chief for State and Private Forestry, where she had oversight of Fire and Aviation Management, Tribal Relations, Forest Health Protection, Cooperative Forestry, Grey Towers, and Conservation Education.  She joined the Forest Service in 2010 as the Deputy Director of Fire and Aviation Management.  Ms. Christiansen has worked extensively on the National Cohesive Wildland Fire Management Strategy, bringing her experience as a line officer, land manager, wildland fire fighter and State Forester to the effort.

Prior to joining the Forest Service, she served as the Arizona State Forester and Director of the Arizona Division of Forestry.  She was responsible for the protection of 22 million acres of state and private lands in Arizona, including wildland fire management.  As State Forester, Ms. Christiansen represented Arizona at the national and state level on forest health and wildland fire issues.  She was Chair of the Wildland Fire Committee for the National Association of State Foresters.

She also served as the Washington State Forester, where she had a 26- year career with the Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR).  Ms. Christiansen started as a wildland fire fighter while still in college and held many different positions at the Washington DNR with a strong emphasis in operations, managing state trust lands and regulating forest practices on state and private lands in Washington State.  Her first permanent position was as a forester responsible for the reforestation of state trust lands in the Mount St Helens blast zone.  Ms. Christiansen has been a wildland fire fighter and fire manager for 36 years, and has numerous credentials in the wildland fire program with a special expertise as a fire line-blasting advisor. Ms. Christiansen has a Bachelor of Science degree in Forest Management from the University of Washington (1983, cum laude).  She is married to a Fire Chief (retired) and has two grown sons.

Vicki Christiansen
Chief
U.S. Forest Service
201 14th Street, S.W.
Washington, DC   20250
202-205-8439
vcchristiansen@fs.fed.us

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LESLIE WELDON – is the Work Environment and Performance Executive for the U.S. Forest Service.  Prior to her current position, she served as Deputy Chief, National Forest System, where she was responsible for oversight of the National Forest System, comprised of 154 National Forests and 20 National Grasslands covering 193 million acres located in 44 states and Puerto Rico.  In her storied career, Ms. Weldon also served as: Regional Forester, Northern Region in Missoula, Montana; National External Affairs Officer in the Office of the Chief; Forest Supervisor, Deschutes National Forest in Bend, Oregon; and a variety of other posts with the agency.  She began her outdoors career with the Youth Conservation Corps in Shenandoah National Park.  She is a graduate of Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in Biological Sciences.  She was a Senior Executive Fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government and has taken an active role in a large number of community-based organizations.  Her twin sons are both professionals with federal land managing agencies.

Leslie Weldon
Deputy Chief, National Forest System
U.S. Forest Service
201 14th Street, S.W.
Washington, DC   20250
202-205-1523
lweldon@fs.fed.us

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GLENN CASAMASSA – is the Associate Deputy Chief for the National Forest System in the Forest Service National Headquarters.  Mr. Casamassa provides leadership for the National Forest System programs of Recreation, Heritage & Volunteer Resources, Lands & Realty Management, Engineering, Technology, and Geospatial Services, National Partnership Office, and Minerals & Geology Management.   Prior to this position, he served as the Forest and Grassland Supervisor of the Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forests and Pawnee National Grassland in northern Colorado.  In addition, he has served in acting assignments as the Acting Chief of Staff to the Chief, Acting Director of Communication in the Washington Office, and Acting Deputy Regional Forester, Resources, Rocky Mountain Region.   He is a graduate of Utah State University, where he earned his Bachelors of Science in Forest Ecology.  Prior to joining the Forest Service, he apprenticed as a nursery manager eventually managing all facets of a shade tree nursery and green house operations.

Glenn Casamassa
Associate Deputy Chief, National Forest System
U.S. Forest Service
201 14th Street, S.W.
Washington, DC   20250
202-205-3171
gcasamassa@fs.fed.us

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MICHIKO MARTIN – is the Director of Conservation Education, State & Private Forestry, Washington Office for the U.S. Forest Service.  She began her Washington assignment as Acting Director of Recreation, Heritage and Volunteer Resources, a position she continues to hold.  Prior to joining the Forest Service in 2014, Ms. Martin worked for 12 years as Chief of Education, Outreach and New Media for the Office of National Marine Sanctuaries, with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).  She also served as a commissioned naval officer for 12 years and worked as a meteorologist and oceanographer.  She directed the daily operations of an environmental support unit to naval forces in Okinawa, Japan, and assisted in the operation of global atmospheric and oceanic numerical models.  A native of the Ryukyuan Islands, Ms. Martin earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Physical Oceanography at the United States Naval Academy.  She later earned post-graduate degrees, including a Master of Science degree in Oceanic Engineering jointly conferred by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, and a Master’s degree in Educational Leadership at Troy State University.

Michiko Martin
Director of Conservation Education
Acting Director of Recreation, Heritage and Volunteer Resources
U.S. Forest Service
201 14th Street, S.W.
Washington, DC   20250
202-756-7118
michikojmartin@fs.fed.us

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JACQUELINE EMANUEL – is the Director of the National Partnership Office for the U.S. Forest Service in Washington, D.C., where she champions entrepreneurial public-private partnerships while continuing to support community-based innovation that is the foundation of our partnership program.  Prior to her current position, Ms. Emanuel held a wide variety of positions in her 27 year career with the U.S. Forest Service.  She recently served as a Legislative Affairs Specialist and a Fellow in the United States Senate, and she previously served as the first National Sustainable Operations Coordinator.  She has also spent several years as the National Partnership Coordinator in Recreation, Heritage and Volunteer Resources, building alliances and developing mutually beneficial relationships.  Prior to working in the Washington Office, she worked on the Southern California National Forests, and she began her career in the Rocky Mountain Region working in a variety of Public Affairs, Partnership and Community Forestry roles.

Jacqueline Emanuel
Director, National Partnership Office
U.S. Forest Service
201 14th Street, S.W.
Washington, D.C.  20250
202-205-1072
jemanuel@fs.fed.us

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U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

 

JEFF KRAUSE – is the Chief of Natural Resources Management (NRM) for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in Washington, D.C.  He directs Corps programs for the development, management, and preservation of the land and natural resources on 12 million acres of Civil Works land and waters. The NRM programs include recreation, environmental compliance, environmental stewardship, partnerships, water safety, land uses, NRM program funding, and strategic planning. Previously, Mr. Krause was a program manager for Environmental Stewardship with responsibilities for budget, policy and guidance development on forest, fish, wildlife and land management resources. Mr. Krause also worked as a wildlife biologist with the Baltimore District, where he was located at the Raystown Lake project for 15 years and engaged in numerous successful national partnerships.  Mr. Krause is an avid fisherman and hunter and enjoys searching for new outdoor opportunities.

Jeffrey Krause
Chief, Natural Resources Management
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
441 G Street, N.W. (CECW-CO-N)
Washington, DC   20314
202-761-1228
jeff.krause@usace.army.mil

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U.S. Department of Commerce

Timothy Gallaudet – Dr. Brian Moyer – Nicole LeBoeuf – John Armor

 

RDML TIMOTHY GALLAUDET, USN RET. – is the Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere and Acting Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere.  Prior to his confirmation by the U.S. Senate, Dr. Gallaudet was a Rear Admiral in the U.S. Navy, where his most recent assignment was Oceanographer of the Navy and Commander of the Navy Meteorology and Oceanography Command.  During his 32 years of military service, Dr. Gallaudet had experience in weather and ocean forecasting, hydrographic surveying, developing policy and plans to counter illegal, unregulated and unreported fishing, and assessing the national security impacts of climate change.  He has led teams of Navy Sailors and civilians performing such diverse functions as overseeing aircraft carrier combat operations, planning and conducting humanitarian assistance and disaster response efforts, assisting Navy SEAL Teams during high visibility counter-terrorism operations, and developing the Navy’s annual $52 billion information technology, cyber security and intelligence budget.  Dr. Gallaudet holds a bachelor’s degree from the U.S. Naval Academy and a master’s and doctoral degrees from Scripps Institution of Oceanography, all in oceanography.

Tim Gallaudet, Ph.D.
Acting Under Secretary for Oceans and Atmosphere
U.S. Department of Commerce
1401 Constitution Avenue, Room 5128
Washington, DC   20230
timothy.gallaudet@noaa.gov

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Dr. BRIAN C. MOYER – is Director of the Bureau of Economic Analysis.

Dr. Moyer oversees BEA’s production of official economic statistics, which provide a comprehensive, up-to-date picture of the U.S. economy that aids in decision making by businesses, policymakers and households.

Before he became Director, Dr. Moyer served in several key positions at BEA, including as the agency’s Deputy Director and as Associate Director for Industry Accounts. He is the author of numerous articles on measuring the performance of the U.S. economy. Much of his research has focused on improving industry-related statistics, including improved industry measures of volume and prices, expanded information on the sources and uses of intermediate purchases by industry, and improved industry-level productivity statistics. Dr. Moyer is an active participant in national and international efforts to improve economic statistics at the United Nations, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, and other official forums.

Dr. Moyer has received a number of awards, both for his management and leadership skills, as well as for improvements to BEA’s economic accounts. Dr. Moyer holds a Ph.D. in economics from the American University.

Dr. Brian C. Moyer
Director
Bureau of Economic Analysis
4600 Silver Hill Road
Suitland, MD   20233
301-278-9004
BMoyer@bea.gov

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NICOLE LeBOEUF – is the Acting Assistant Administrator for NOAA’s National Ocean Service (NOS), the nation’s most comprehensive ocean and coastal agency. Its mission is to provide science-based solutions through collaborative partnerships to address evolving economic, environmental and social pressures on our oceans and coasts. The agency observes, measures, assesses, and manages the nation’s coastal, ocean, and Great Lakes areas; provides critical navigation products and services; and conducts response and restoration activities to protect vital coastal resources.

As Acting Assistant Administrator, Ms. LeBoeuf provides strategic vision for NOS. She leads the implementation of activities that support NOS’s priorities of safe and efficient transportation and commerce; preparedness and risk reduction; and stewardship, tourism and recreation. She serves as the focal point for conveying the value of NOS products and services within NOAA and to the Department of Commerce, the Office of Management and Budget, and Congress. Ms. LeBoeuf actively establishes and grows partnerships with other federal agencies, non-governmental organizations, and industry.

Previously, Ms. LeBoeuf served as the NOS Deputy Assistant Administrator. In this role, she oversaw the financial, administrative, and performance activities of an agency that includes more than 1,700 staff located across more than 50 places around the country.

Ms. LeBoeuf holds a bachelor’s degree in marine biology from Texas A&M University and a master’s degree in sustainable development and conservation biology from the University of Maryland. She lives with her husband, stepchildren, and hound dog in Kensington, Maryland.

Nicole LeBoeuf
Acting Assistant Administrator
NOAA’s National Ocean Service
N/MB6, SSMC4, Room 9149
1305 East-West Hwy
Silver Spring, MD 20910
nicole.leboeuf@noaa.gov
240-533-0905

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JOHN ARMOR – serves as the Director of NOAA’s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries (ONMS), responsible for protecting America’s special marine areas. In this capacity, he provides strategic vision for the program and overall policy direction.

Mr. Armor was originally hired into ONMS in June 2000 to serve as the program’s national permitting coordinator. In 2008, he became the chief of the program’s Conservation Policy and Planning Division overseeing all regulatory, planning, enforcement and emergency response functions of the program. In 2013, Mr. Armor was selected to become the ONMS deputy director where he oversaw all personnel, policy and administrative matters for the program.

Prior to coming to NOAA, Mr. Armor worked for the Florida Department of Environmental Protection in the Fort Myers regional office. There, he worked to implement the State of Florida’s wetland and estuarine protection and sovereign submerged lands programs. He has a B.S. in Marine Science from the University of South Carolina, where he focused his course work on coastal ecology and phycology, and a M.S. in environmental science and policy from Johns Hopkins University. He is also a graduate of NOAA’s Leadership Competencies Development Program.

A native of Portsmouth, RI, Mr. Armor grew up on the Narragansett Bay, where his love and respect for the power of the ocean and special marine places was born. He currently lives in Columbia, MD, with his partner Trish, and children Ian, Collin and Katy.

John Armor
Director, Office of National Marine Sanctuaries
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
1305 East West Highway
Silver Spring, MD   20910
240-533-0681
john.armor@noaa.gov

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