News Release

Forest Service announces changes in national leadership

November 26, 2003 -

USDA Forest Service Chief Dale Bosworth today announced the selections of Dr. Ann Bartuska as deputy chief for research and development and Christopher Pyron as deputy chief for business operations.

Bartuska will replace Dr. Robert Lewis, who has led research and development since April 1997. Pyron follows Dr. Thomas Mills, who has served as deputy for business operations since April 2002. Lewis and Mills will retire at the end of the year.

“The Forest Service is thrilled to have Ann Bartuska return to the agency from her successful invasive species work at The Nature Conservancy,” said Bosworth. “Ann brings an ideal mix of talent and skill as a scientific researcher, and a leader. We are extremely fortunate to have someone with Ann’s background and experience as the next deputy chief for research and development.”

Since 2001, Bartuska has been directing the invasive species initiative at TNC. Prior to her position with TNC, Bartuska worked for the Forest Service for 14 years. She held positions with research and development; state and private forestry as the director of forest health protection; and the national forest system as the agency’s first director of ecosystem management. Bartuska was the first woman and first ecologist to be named director of forest management.

Bartuska holds a bachelor’s degree in biology from Wilkes College, Wilkes Barre, Pa., a master’s degree in botany from Ohio University and a doctorate in biology from West Virginia University. She is currently on the board of the Council of Scientific Society Presidents and was recently president of the Ecological Society of America.

“Being selected to lead the Forest Service research and development organization brings full circle my beginnings within the Forest Service and is a long sought goal,” said Bartuska. “I consider the organization the premier forestry science outfit in the world and am excited and honored to be able to work with a cadre of scientists and professionals who are at the leading edge of many of society’s most pressing environmental problems.”

Since 2002, Pyron has served as chief of staff for the Forest Service and oversees the day-to-day operations of the national headquarters, including budget, personnel and scheduling. He also is the key liaison to USDA’s Under Secretary for Natural Resources and the Environment, which oversees the Forest Service. Before joining the national headquarters, Pyron was deputy regional forester for operations in the agency’s Intermountain Regional Office, Ogden, Utah, for several years. Pyron began his career as an administrative assistant on a ranger district and has held a variety of business management positions as well as an assignment in the Washington Office legislative affairs staff.

“Chris brings extensive knowledge of business operations from his experience at the ranger district, national forest and regional office levels of the organization as well as in the research and development branch of the agency,” said Bosworth. “He is uniquely qualified to provide the national leadership to this critically important program and reestablishing sound management throughout the Forest Service.”

Pyron earned a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of California at Riverside.

“I’m looking forward to the challenges presented by the complex business management programs facing the Forest Service in the twenty-first century,” said Pyron. “It is truly an honor to have started my career as an administrative assistant on a ranger district and now to be chosen to serve as deputy chief for business operations.”

Bartuska and Pyron will begin their new assignments in January.