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Vicki Christiansen

Vickie ChristiansenChief, United States Forest Service (Retiring)

Vicki Christiansen serves as Chief of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Forest Service, leading a workforce of more than 25,000 permanent employees who sustainably manage 193 million acres of national forests and grasslands; support the world’s largest forestry research organization; and work with States, Tribes, and others to sustain all of America’s forests for the benefit of all citizens, today and in the future. Under Vicki’s leadership, the Forest Service cares for shared natural resources in ways that promote lasting economic, ecological, and social vitality for all communities nationwide. Chief Christiansen will retire from federal service in August 2021.

Vicki’s personal passion is connecting people with their natural resources. Over her 39-year career, she has accumulated a wealth of experience in natural resource and wildland fire management. Her commitment to the core values of the Forest Service—conservation, service, interdependence, diversity, and safety—is evident in the priorities she sets for the agency, including controlling the COVID-19 pandemic, providing economic relief to communities, tackling climate change, advancing racial equity, and improving the Forest Service workforce and work environment. As Chief, Vicki is leading agency efforts to tackle climate change and improve the condition of America’s forests and grasslands through shared stewardship with local, State, and national partners and Tribes. Vicki’s focus on investing in respectful relationships inside and outside the agency is reflected in the Forest Service’s dedication to advancing racial equity in the communities we serve and to creating a safe and respectful workplace where we model integrity, protect one another, and learn from mistakes.  

Vicki joined the Forest Service in 2010 as the Deputy Director of Fire and Aviation Management. Prior to serving as Chief, she worked as Deputy Chief for State and Private Forestry overseeing Forest Service activities in managing wildland fire and working with our partners to sustain the health and productivity of non-Federal forest lands. Prior to joining the Forest Service, she served as the Arizona State Forester and director of the Arizona Division of Forestry, where she was responsible for the protection of 22 million acres of State and private lands in Arizona. She had previously served as the Washington State Forester, the culmination of a 26-year career with Washington State Department of Natural Resources.