Sally Collins has been named associate chief / chief operating officer for the U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service, Chief Dale Bosworth announced today. Collins, who had been serving as associate deputy chief for the agency’s national forest system, will be the Forest Service’s highest-ranking manager after Bosworth.
“She exemplifies the strong leadership skills and breadth of experience required to help to deal with the scope and variety of land management issues that face the Forest Service,” Bosworth said. “Implementation of the National Fire Plan, roads and roadless issues, and growing recreation on our forests are just a few of the major challenges we are working on today. I am pleased that Sally has agreed to take on the many challenges and opportunities of this position.”
“I am honored by the trust and confidence Chief Bosworth has placed in me,” said Collins. “I welcome the opportunity to work with the employees of the organization in handling the crucial decisions and demands on our natural resources.”
Collins became associate deputy chief in April 2000. She came to the Washington, D.C., office from the Deschutes National Forest, Oregon, where she was the forest supervisor since 1993. Over her 18 years in public service and resource management, Collins has worked for both the Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management in Oregon and Colorado. In addition to serving as forest supervisor, she has held positions as deputy forest supervisor, assistant planner, wilderness specialist, environmental coordinator and mineral leasing coordinator. Just before coming to Washington, D.C., Collins chaired an advisory board with the chancellor of higher education in Oregon in developing a proposal for a new four-year institution of higher education.
Collins was born in Ames, Iowa. She holds a master’s degree in public administration with an emphasis in natural resource management from the University of Wyoming and a bachelor’s degree in outdoor recreation from the University of Colorado.
Her spouse, John, is an oceanographer and their daughter, Casey, is a junior at the University of New Hampshire. The family enjoys a variety of outdoor activities, such as skiing, hiking, canoeing and cycling.
Hilda Diaz-Soltero, who has served as the agency’s associate chief for natural resources since 1999, will now direct the Forest Service’s Pacific Southwest Research Station, Albany, Calif.
“I have asked Hilda to fill this position because of her extensive experience in several natural resource leadership positions,” Bosworth said. “She will be an invaluable asset to integrate station research more closely with the national forest system and state and private forestry programs as well as with external partners.”
“I welcome the opportunity to direct one of the premiere research programs in the Forest Service,” Diaz-Soltero said. “Research will continue to play a critical role in providing the scientific knowledge to inform the natural resource management of challenges we face in California and the Pacific Islands.”
Phil Janik, who has been serving as chief operating officer since 1999, will become the director of wildlife, fish, water and air research. He will guide the agency’s research of these complex issues facing natural resource managers.
“Phil is an excellent choice for this position because of his previous wildlife and fish administrative work and his years of experience as a regional forester as well as his overall leadership ability,” Bosworth said. “With this move, we are also reconfiguring this staff to include an element of science and management coordination.”
“I am certainly very eager as I approach this new assignment,” Janik said. “I look forward to being able to concentrate more on the important coordination between science and resource management.”