Jim Pena began his Forest Service career in Oregon more than 35 years ago. Next month, he will return as regional forester to lead the agency in Oregon and Washington.
Peña, who will start Aug. 3 in the Portland, OR, Region 6 headquarters, is presently Associate Deputy Chief for the National Forest System in the agency’s Washington, D.C., national headquarters.
“We are fortunate to have Jim as our next Regional Forester,” said Maureen Hyzer, Deputy Regional Forester, who is acting Regional Forester until Pena’s arrival. “He brings a rich background of service at many levels of the organization, and will lead our efforts to foster forest resiliency through collaboration.”
Pena has led the National Forest System programs of Forest Management, Range Management, Engineering, Recreation/Heritage/Volunteer Programs, Natural Resource Management and Watershed/Fish/Wildlife/Air/Rare Plants.
Prior to coming to this position, he was the Deputy Regional Forester for State and Private Forestry in the Pacific Southwest (California) Region.
Pena also brings experience from multiple agency wide special assignments such as Acting Director of Human Capital Management, agency liaison to Undersecretary for Natural Resources and Environment, the reengineering team for Human Resources, and the National Fire Management Review.
He has held positions as forest supervisor, deputy forest supervisor and district ranger beginning in 1991 in California, Oregon and Washington.
Pena began his career with the Forest Service as a forester trainee on the Rogue River National Forest in 1978. He graduated from Humboldt State University with a bachelor’s of Science degree in forest resource management in 1980.
Pena is a member of the Society of American Foresters. He lives in Fairfax, Virginia with Debbie, his wife and two sons.
Pena succeeds Kent Connaughton, who retired last week after a 36 ½ year career with the Forest Service.