Dondero Named Director of Cooperative Forestry, FS R8

Dondero Named Director of Cooperative Forestry, FS R8

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ATLANTA -- John D. Dondero, a veteran of the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), has been selected as Director of Cooperative Forestry for the Southern Region, according to Acting Regional Forester Ken Arney.

"I am very pleased to announce John’s selection," Arney said. "He has extensive experience at all levels of our sister USDA agency, and I know our employees and partners will enjoy working with him."

The Southern Region encompasses 13 States—from Virginia to Florida and Oklahoma – and Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. The Director of Cooperative Forestry oversees three key State and Private Forestry Programs – Urban and Community Forestry, Forest Stewardship and Forest Legacy - as well as the National Seed Laboratory in Macon, Ga.

Dondero, who is currently the Director of the Budget Planning and Analysis Division for NRCS in Washington, said he was excited about the new opportunity in Atlanta.

"I am looking forward to working with the Forest Service and continuing work on private lands conservation," Dondero said. "I see this as a great opportunity to take the knowledge I gained with NRCS – including my understanding of the conservation provisions in the new Farm Bill – and bring it with me to work in the Southern Region."

In addition to his current responsibilities planning, analyzing and defending NRCS’s $3.4 billion budget, Dondero’s experience has included wor king as Branch Chief for the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP), working as Strategic Regional Planner in Atlanta, and serving in various field positions in Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Illinois, and Virginia. He also had a three-month Senior Executive Service detail in the Research branch of the Forest Service in the Washington Office, and was detailed to Trout Unlimited (TU) for one year, where he trained and advised TU leadership about USDA conservation programs.

Also, Dondero was selected by the Chief of NRCS to lead a nationwide transition effort for a new White House Administration and Congress in 1993. In 2005, he represented USDA on the executive team for the 2005 White House Conference on Cooperative Conservation.

Dondero and his wife, Colleen, have been married 34 years. They have two grown children, Jay and Kristen, who both live in the Atlanta area. In his spare time, Dondero enjoys fly fishing. His reporting date has not been set.

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