Forest Service Chief Mike Dombeck announced today his retirement from federal service effective Saturday, March 31. Announcing his retirement with senior staff, Dombeck expressed satisfaction in his efforts to guide the agency and looked forward to pursuing new opportunities outside government service.
“I have enjoyed every minute of my tenure as Chief of the Forest Service, Dombeck told the leadership team. Any successes I may have had were achieved only through the dedication and commitment of the 33,000 men and women of the Forest Service, who have made these the best four years of my life.” Dombeck said the agency’s transition under the new administration appeared to be on track. “I feel that this is the right time to step down, spend time with my family, and then look at new opportunities.”
Dombeck, 52, a native of Wisconsin, became the 14th Chief of the Forest Service on January 7, 1997. His retirement caps more than a quarter century of service as a federal employee, college professor, and high school teacher. Prior to his arrival at the Forest Service, Dombeck served as Acting Director of the Bureau of Land Management.
“I have been pleased by the support and effort Chief Dombeck has extended to me and the transition team,” Secretary Veneman remarked following Dombeck’s announcement. “Mike has been a dedicated professional who has given over half his life to public service. I appreciate his many years of leadership in government. All of us at USDA wish him and his family the very best.”
Phil Janik, Chief Operating Officer for the USDA Forest Service will serve as acting chief until a successor is named.