School of Environmental and Forest Sciences alumna Vicki Christiansen (’83, B.S.) is the 19th Chief of the USDA Forest Service after spending seven months as the interim chief.

She was appointed on Oct. 10 by Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, who said in a press release that Christiansen “knows what’s needed to restore our forests and put them back to work for the taxpayers.”

Christiansen, a Washington native, has worked in wildland firefighting and forestry for 36 years, joining the U.S. Forest Service in 2010. She is also a Society of American Foresters member. While attending UW, she worked as a wildland firefighter and later held jobs in operations, managing state trust lands and regulating forest practices on state and private lands.

“I’m passionate about the Forest Service mission to sustain the health, diversity and productivity of the nation’s forest and grasslands and I have worked over the past 35 years both at the state and national level to advance that mission,” Christiansen said. The University of Washington provided me a place to really be curious and develop a quest for lifelong learning.”