Tom Christensen, Associate Chief for Operations
Tom Christensen serves as the Associate Chief for Operations. In this position, he is the Chief Operating Officer for NRCS and functions on behalf of the Chief with responsibility for directing and overseeing the agency’s budgeting and financial management; human resources management; acquisitions, procurements, and management services; information technology; emergency response and continuity of operations; strategic planning and accountability; employee development and training; and, enterprise business initiatives.
Tom served as the Regional Conservationist for NRCS’s Central Region from 2009 to 2014. In this position, he was responsible for providing overall direction of NRCS personnel, programs and activities in the region consistent with the Chief’s guidance. Tom acted as the representative of the Chief in regional partnerships, initiatives and at meetings. He also provided leadership for and supervised the 12 State Conservationists in the Central Region states (Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas and Wisconsin.) Tom also provided leadership for the agency’s Oversight and Evaluation Team, as well as its Landscape Conservation Initiatives Team.
Tom has worked for more than 34 years for NRCS, including in North Carolina, New York, Idaho and Illinois, prior to the last 18 years at National Headquarters. He previously held the positions of Deputy Chief for Programs, Director of Financial Assistance Programs, Director of Conservation Operations, Director of Animal Husbandry and Clean Water Programs, Agency Chief Information Officer, State Conservationist in Illinois, Assistant State Conservationist in Idaho, Area and District Conservationist in New York and Soil Conservationist in North Carolina.
Tom graduated from Rutgers University with a Bachelor of Science in Forest Management. He received a Master of Science in Renewable Natural Resources Conservation from the University of Connecticut. He also attended Duke University’s Institute of Public Policy for one year through the NRCS’s Public Administration Program.
Tom is a 2009 recipient of a Presidential Rank Award for Meritorious Service for Senior Executives. He also has received a USDA Honor Award for individual achievement in rural development, and two group USDA Honor Awards for developing and implementing landscape conservation initiatives.