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Alexander L. Friend

Former Employee
Alexander L. Friend
Deputy Chief's Office
1400 Independence Ave., SW
Washington, DC 20250-0003
United States
Current Research
Forest Service Deputy Chief Alex Friend directs a national program of research that includes 400-plus scientists at six regional research stations and the Forest Products Laboratory in Madison, Wisc. He also oversees management of a national network of experimental forests and ranges that serve as living laboratories for long-term research into a variety of ecosystems. The Deputy Chief for R&D provides technical leadership in all phases of forestry research. His role involves the formulation, execution, and evaluation of policies and programs that advance wise management, protection, and use of forest and rangeland resources. He directs basic and applied research in specific research fields including forest soil and water, wildlife and fish habitat, forest recreation, range management, forest fire, forest insects and disease, timber management, forest products, forest economics, and forest products marketing.
Past Research
Prior to his current post, Friend served as director of the Forest Service’s Pacific Southwest Research Station in Albany, Calif. In that role he managed eight research facilities in California, Hawaii, and the Pacific Islands, interacting with land managers and engaging on the forest resource issues facing the west. Before working in California, he served in the Forest Service Washington Office as Budget Officer for Research and Development. Friend also worked as a project leader at the agency’s Northern Research Station.

Friend was a Professor of Forestry at Mississippi State University from 1989 to 2001. He taught both graduate and undergraduate courses in forest biology.
Research Interest
Alex Friend believes there is enormous potential to better connect land management with forest resources leadership. One of Friend’s goals as Deputy Chief is a focus on how to best deliver science to the user community within and outside of the agency.
Why This Research Is Important
Forest Service research provides managers of national forests and grasslands with up-to-date scientific knowledge and technologies to carry out the agency’s motto of “caring for the land and serving people.” Research results also bolster U.S. economic competitiveness by transferring Forest Service science and technology into the marketplace through patents, licenses, and cooperative research and development agreements.
  • University of Washington, Ph.D., ,
  • North Carolina State University, M.S., ,
  • The University of the South., B.S., ,
Professional Experience
  • Deputy Chief,  Research & Development, USDA Forest Service,  2018 - Current
  • Station Director,  Pacific Southwest Research Station, USDA Forest Service,  2012 - 2018
    As the Director of the Pacific Southwest Research Station (PSW), Dr. Friend led the efforts of approximately 50 agency scientists working in California, Hawaii and the U.S.-affiliated Pacific Islands.
  • Acting Station Director,  Pacific Southwest Research Station, USDA Forest Service,  2011 - 2012
    Dr. Friend led the efforts of some 50 agency scientists in California, Hawaii and U.S.-affiliated Pacific Islands, serving as Acting Station Director for PSW.
Professional Organizations
  • Ecological Society of America,  Current
  • Society of American Foresters (SAF),  Current
  • Soil Science Society of America,  Current
Other Publications