News Release

Forest Service Fills Two Top Positions In Its National Headquarters

October 4, 2005 -

U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service Chief Dale Bosworth recently announced two personnel selections for the national headquarters. Kathy Burgers will head the human resources management staff and Sam Foster will lead the resource valuation and use research staff.

"Kathy has worked in the national headquarters for the past 17 years in virtually every area of human resources management," said Bosworth. "Her wealth of knowledge and experience will serve her well in her new position."

Burgers is currently assistant director of human resources for employment, classification, pay, and Washington Office operations in the human resources management office. She is replacing John Lopez, who retired last month.

"I'm excited and honored to have this opportunity to lead the human resources organization as we prepare to centralize our services and institute new automated tools that will help us to operate more efficiently," said Burgers. "I look forward to continuing to work with a great group of human resources professionals who provide top-notch services to the Forest Service organization as well as to the public."

In 1978, Burgers began her 27-year career with the Forest Service when she joined its eastern regional office as a personnel management trainee. She held several human resource positions, including personnel officer, on the Allegheny National Forest in Pennsylvania before transferring to the national headquarters. Before her federal career, Burgers taught English in North Bend , Neb.

Foster is currently the national program leader for silviculture and genetics research in the vegetation management and protection research staff. He replaces Dave Cleaves, who was just named director of the Forest Service's Rocky Mountain Research Station in Colorado.

"Sam has developed an international reputation in the area of forest genetics and silviculture research during his 29-year career," said Bosworth. "I know he will excel in this latest leadership position in research."

In 1988, Foster joined the Forest Service's Southern Research Station. From 2001 to 2003, he left the federal government to serve as dean of the College of Forest Resources and director of the Forest and Wildlife Research Center at Mississippi State University . During that time, he was also a commissioner with the Mississippi Forestry Commission. Since he returned to the Forest Service in 2003, he has held positions in the following staffs: vegetation management and protection research; wildlife, fish, water, and air research; and watershed, fish, wildlife, air and rare plants.

"People value things that they use, such as forest and range ecosystems and the myriad of things that they gain from them, including wood, water, wildlife, recreation, and clean air," said Foster. "The Forest Service has a national and international opportunity to provide critical research findings in these areas."

In addition, Foster worked for private sector companies from 1976 to 1988, including Weyerhaeuser, Crown Zellerbach and International Forest Seed.

Burgers is a graduate of Sioux Falls University and holds a bachelor's in English.

Foster has a bachelor's in forest management and a master's in silviculture and forest genetics from the University of Tennessee . He also holds a doctorate in silviculture and forest genetics from Oregon State University.

Burgers reports to her new position immediately; Foster in mid-October.